Haifa defeats Beer Sheva, Maccabi & Hapoel draw in Tel Aviv Derby

Maccabi Haifa continued its inspired play with a 2:0 win at Turner Stadium in Beer Sheva for their fourth straight league victory under Marko Balbul. This was the first time since 2009 that the Greens defeated Beer Sheva in the southern city as the host’s fell out of a Championship Playoff position. After a goalless first half, Loai Taha was sent off for the host’s when he received his second yellow card in the 50th minute giving Haifa a numerical advantage on the pitch. Balbul’s squad found their first goal via Neta Lavi in the 72nd minute off a long distance scorcher and their second came deep into stoppage time thanks to Shlomi Azulay as they wrapped up a 2-0 victory.

Maccabi and Hapoel drew 1-1 in the Tel Aviv Derby at the Moshava Stadium in Petah Tikva as the Reds drew even on a late goal by Emmanuel Boateng against ten-men yellow-and-blue to split the points. Chico Ofoedu opened the scoring in the first half after finishing off a beautiful team play but Head Coach Vladimir Ivic’s side was left short handed when Itay Shecher was issued a red card in the 79th minute due to some extracurricular pushing and shoving by both sides. That gave Hapoel a chance to find the equalizer in the 88th minute to snatch a point against the table leaders.

Hapoel Haifa easily got by Maccabi Petah Tikva 4-2 at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa as the visitor’s lost their third game in a row. Playing without Manor Solomon who was sold to Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk last week, the Petah Tikva coaching change had no effect as Morad Magmadov fell in his debut on the sidelines. Tai Baribo gave Petah Tikva an early 1-0 lead in the 4th minute as the central defender headed home a Issa Cissokho cross beating keeper Ran Kadosh. But the host’s evened up the contest a quarter hour later on an Omer Danino own goal when a Maxim Plakuschenko shot caromed off the defender. Danino was again at the center of attention in the 44th minute when he missed cutting off a through ball to Ben Azubel who scored to give the Carmel Reds a 2-1 advantage. Radu Ginsari added Haifa’s third goal in the 48th minute and striker Matan Hozez, who just arrived on loan from Maccabi Tel Aviv gave the host’s an insurmountable lead as Baribo pulled back a late goal for the visitor’s.

Hapoel Hadera defeated Bnei Sahknin 2-1 at the Netanya Stadium in Kevin Tapoka’s final game with Hadera before his transfer to Hapoel Beer Sheva. With only one win in their last 10 matches, Niso Avitan’s side took the 3-points after coming back from a one goal deficit. Shlomi Azulay gave the visitor’s a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute, however, Yarin Peretz found the equalizer when he scored from in close after a corner kick. In the 70th minute, Mohammed Ghadir was issued a red card, leaving Sakhnin with ten-men for the balance of the match and Hadera took full advantage as Dovev Gabbay headed home the winner.

Beitar Jerusalem and Kiryat Shmona drew 0-0 at Teddy Stadium as each side picked up a point. Ange-Freddy Plumain made his Jerusalem debut following his transfer from Hadera while Hadji Barry played his first match for the northerners after arriving from the United States, however, neither would be able to break the deadlock. After a slow first half, Yossi Benayoun who began his second term with Nir Kilnger’s capital city side helped change the pace giving the host’s a number of chances but incredible saves by Džiugas Bartkus including one off of his face kept the score as is.

Maccabi Netanya slipped by SC Ashdod 1-0 at the Netanya Stadium as Yuval Naim, the visitor’s head coach was ejected during halftime for verbally abusing the linesman. The host’s controlled the match from the get go and had many chances on Ashdod keeper Yoav Gerafi but the shot stopper made save after save. However, Gavriel Kanichowsky finally beat Gerafi in the 71st minute when his attempt from the left side made it past the keeper and into the goal for the lone marker of the contest.

Hapoel Ranaana hosted Bnei Yehuda in a match that ended in a 0-0 goalless draw as the side’s split the points. Earlier in the week, the visitor’s sold budding superstar Yarden Shua to Maccabi Haifa and the Bnei Yehuda faithful protested the move all match long.

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