Maccabi Haifa takes out Hapoel TLV, Maccabi Tel Aviv blanks Hapoel Haifa, Hadera bests Beitar

Feb 19, 2022 | Football

Maccabi Tel Aviv used a pair of second half goals to defeat Hapoel Haifa 2-0 as the yellow-and-blue continue to move il the standings. After a goalless first half, Stipe Perica slotted home a 54th minute penalty after a handball in the box was called on the Carmel Reds while Matan Baltaxa headed home Maccabi’s second goal off a Brandley Kuwas pass to hand the 2-0 victory to Malden Krstajic’s squad.

“We expected a tough game and we had a bad first half but we gave the maximum in two side half,” Krstajic said. “We wanted to win and maybe that is why we made some mistakes in the first half as the players wanted to put on a good show. As for getting back into the title race I don’t want to talk about that now and I just want us to keep playing well.”

“We played well for 60 minutes but the name of the game is to take advantage of good opportunities and if not you won’t beat Maccabi,” a disappointed Haifa coach Elisha Levi said. “We still believe that we can get into the championship playoffs as long as there is still a chance and there is.”

Maccabi Haifa got by Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-0 as the Greens scored a pair of second half goals to secure the 3-points and increase their lead atop the table. Dean David slammed home a corner kick in the 61st minute while Tjaron Chery doubled the advantage 8 minutes later to wrap up the victory.

“It was good to come back home to win after last week’s game in Kiryat Shemona,” Haifa coach Barak Bachar explained. “We controlled the pace of play throughout the game and it was a tough win but on that we deserved. There are no easy games, we try to make them easy but there is no such thing as an easy game.”

“We knew that Haifa would play attacking soccer and we came to play as well, but we couldn’t create chances,” Hapoel coach Kobi Refuah said. “We are still battling for a playoff spot and hopefully we will be there. But our offensive game here was just not good enough.”

Hapoel Hadera slipped by Beitar Jerusalem 1-0 thanks to a first half penalty goal by Maxim Plakuschenko to give the hosts the 3 points and the victory.

“My players are true heroes,” Hadera coach Menachem Koretsky began. “They battle so hard and I am so proud of them for that. We still need to complete our mission of advancing to the Championship Playoffs and I have to make sure that the guys are grounded so that we can get another 2-3 points at least to do so.”

“We weren’t sharp enough in the final third of the pitch,” Beitar coach Yossi Abuksis said. “We can’t earn points by holding onto the ball and while were played well up until that last third we had three chances to score and couldn’t. We didn’t deserve to lose and the guys gave it their all as we had opportunities and we played well.”

Hapoel Beer Sheva and Kiryat Shemona played to a dry scoreless draw at Turner Stadium in the Southern capital.

“We expected to win and we always aim to win at home,” Beer Sheva coach Roni Levy said. “The fans really pushed us and the players did everything expect make that final pass and last shot on goal. It’s disappointing, but we still have a long way to go.”

“We had a good first half but not such a great second half,” Kiryat Shemona coach Slobodan Drapic said. “We are happy to take a point in Beer Sheva and to take 4 points from the top 3 teams is really something else. We have to keep working hard and some of our players are still getting into their top shape.”

Hapoel Jerusalem blanked Ashdod 2-0 as the Reds picked up an important 3-points in their battle against relegation. Guni Naor opened the scoring as he put in a 36th minute corner kick while on loan striker Eduardo Guerrero scored in the insurance goal in the 90th minute to give the capital city squad the win.

“We are really far off to where we need to be with points and there isn’t time to celebrate the win, “Jerusalem coach Ziv Arie explained. “We will take a day or so to recuperate and then start working on our next game against Kiryat Shemona. There are three teams battling against relegation and it won’t be easy.”

“We didn’t play well and we gave up a goal off a set piece which is one of our big problems,” a disappointed Ran Ben Shimon said. “We knew this would be a game that would be decided on a goal and we deserved to lose. But now we have to pull ourselves together and move on.”

Maccabi Petah Tikva and Maccabi Netanya played to a 1-1 draw with both goals scored over the course of the final ten minutes of the game. Following a goalless first half, Patrick Twumasi found the back of the goal in the 84th minute to give Benny Lam’s Netanya a 1-0 lead. However, just minutes later Aboubacar Doumbia beat keeper Dani Amos from 18 meters as the sides split the points in a dramatic end.

“I’m disappointed because we had chances in the first half to score a goal,” Petah Tikva coach Nir Klinger said following the game. “At least I can say that we saw a second half that I wanted to from the players. Some of our new players are finally getting into shape as well and I believe that if we can plat like this then we will move out of last place.”

“We come into every game at every stadium to look to win,” Lam began. “We came to win from the first minute of play and it’s too bad that after we had scored late we immediately gave up a goal. We played against a team that is fighting for its life and we missed out on two points.”

Bnei Sakhnin defeated Hapoel Nof HaGalil 2-0 in the Galilee Derby to earn 3 important points as they look to find a way into the championship playoffs. Guy Melamed fed Avi Mura with a terrific ball as the latter beat keeper Matan Amber to give Sakhnin a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. Late second half substitute Mufleh Shalata added an insurance goal in the 90th minute to secure the win.

“We are battling for a playoff spot against every team and we will prove worthy every match that we play,” an excited Sakhnin coach Haim Silvas said following the game. “This was a critical game for us and we showed who the better team was on the pitch. We controlled the game in front of our fans and it was a sweet victory.”

“We failed a basic things whether it was taking care of the ball or losing 50/50 battles,” Nof HaGalil coach Shay Barda explained. “The team that wanted it more was the one that ultimately won. We will have to look at why we didn’t play well and remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint.”

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