Beer Sheva stays atop table, Beitar to take technical win, Haifa wallops Sahknin 6-0, Maccabi and Hapoel TLV both win

Dec 25, 2021 | Football

Hapoel Beer Sheva scored a pair of unanswered goals to come from behind to knock off Hapoel Hadera 2-1 and stay atop of the table. Shoval Gozlan opened the scoring in the 11th minute to give Menachem Koretzky’s squad a 1-0 lead but red hot Ramzi Safouri put home a gorgeous strike from 30 meters out to head into the break all knotted up a 1-1. Miguel Vitor then nodded home his second goal in as many games to secure the 3-points for Roni Levy’s side.

“I want to thank the fans for coming up to support us,” Levy said following the win. “We want them to enjoy our soccer and also the results. We are focusing on ourselves as we have a healthy competition ate the top of the table with Maccabi Haifa. We want to continue to improve and there are definitely things that we can do better.”

“Beer Sheva won this game without even shooting the ball at the goal,” Koretzky began. “I have no complaints about my players but we also knew that most of Beer Sheva’s goals come off of set pieces. We made some defensive mistakes and we are losing points because of that.”

Beitar and Hapoel played to a 1-1 draw in the Jerusalem Derby as the Reds scored the tying goal in second half injury time, however, Ziv Arie’s squad will be handed a technical defeat due to fielding 6 foreign players on the pitch at the same time when he inserted Cletus Nombil into the game in the 77th minute. Yossi Mizrachi’s team struck first when Richmond Boakye scored from 13 meters out just ahead of the halftime break and Ondrej Baco headed home the equalizer off a corner kick in the 91st minute. But it was all for not when Arie inadvertently brought on Nombil as Beitar’s fans cheered to their delight knowing that the game will end with 3 points and a 3-0 win.

“I don’t want to get into the fact that Hapoel played 6 imports,” Beitar coach Yossi Mizrachi said following the match. “I want to talk about the game itself which should concern us all. We played well in the first half and pushed forward but in the second half we allowed Hapoel dictate the pace of play and went backwards. I felt awful when we gave up a 90th minute goal on a set piece like against Beer Sheva and this happens time and time again.”

“I feel terrible and anything said about us is warranted,” Hapoel coach Ziv Arie said after fielding 6 foreign players. “We are a big organization but the responsibility lies with me. This can never happen and I want to apologize to the fans, I don’t know what else to say. We played well in the second half but it means nothing now.”

Maccabi Haifa walloped Bnei Sakhnin 6-0 to keep the heat on atop the table. Ofri Arad opened the scoring with a 12th minute goal off a corner kick set play, while Omer Atzily found Dolev Haziza two minutes later to double the Greens advantage to 2-0. Marwan Kabha was sent off with a straight red card in the 40th minute which allowed Atzili to score right at the stroke of half-time and just minutes into the second half Tjaron Chery found the back of the goal to give Barak Bachar’s side a 4-0 advantage. Atzili scored yet again and Maor Levi did as well late in the game to wrap up a 6-0 victory.

“We are in the midst a very tough battle at the top of the table and there isn’t any room to make a mistake or lose points,” Bachar noted. “We come into every game very well prepared and we started the game off well and the red card helped us as well. We did what we needed to do and we won every league game we had this past month. Now we have 8 days to rest and ready for Maccabi Tel Aviv.”

“We fell apart and that was not something we wanted to happen,” Sakhnin coach Sharon Mimer said. “We are having a great season but this game went the wrong way against the top team in the league. Now we will have our biggest test as to how we come back mentally and get back on track.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv slipped by Maccabi Petah Tikva 2-1 to give new head coach Mladen Krstajic his first Israeli league win. The yellow-and-blue scored a pair of early goals via Matan Hozez and Eden Shamir to take a quick 2-0 lead by the 6th minute. James Adeniyi pulled a goal back right before halftime for Guy Luzon’s team but it wasn’t enough as the visitors took the 3-points.

“We opened the game well and scored two goals,” Krstajic said following the win. “We had more chances to score and I believe that we controlled the game in the second hall as well and we had the desire to win. Our fans really came out to support us today which was a very big help.”

“Our start put us in a bad spot and we were very soft in the opening ten minutes,” Petah Tikva coach Guy Luzon said. “Maccabi could have scored even more at the beginning of the game. We settled down and came back with a goal. But we can’t allow what happened to occur again.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv blanked Kiryat Shemona 2-0 as captain Dan Einbinder scored a pair of half penalties in a wild second half that saw three players being sent off to hand Kobi Refuah’s club the 3-points. After a goalless first half, Shai Elias was pulled down in the box good for an Einbinder spot kick to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the 67th minute while twenty minutes later Shlomo Azulay was also tripped up in the area allowing the Hapoel captain to complete the penalty kick brace.

“I was lucky,” Einbinder said after his pair of penalty goals. “I’m happy but I don’t want to talk about myself but the entire team. This was an important win and our second in a row. We showed a lot of character in the second half as we came into the game with 7 injured players.”

“We played well in the first half and we were better the entire game,” Kiryat Shemona coach Slobodan Drapic said. “But we lost the game and that happen sometimes. We were just missing our ability to finish in what was a crazy game.”

Hapoel Haifa got back onto the winning track with a 2-1 win over Ashdod at Sammy Ofer Stadium. Kevin Tapoko sent a scorcher behind Yoav Gerafi in the 23rd minute to give the Carmel Reds the lead but Mohammed Knaan found the equalizer ten minutes into the second half to draw the visitors even. However, Hanan Maman jumped all over an 89th minute rebound for Elisha Levy’s squad to snatch the win and the 3-points.

“Finally a win for us and that is what is most important right now as it’s been a while since we picked up a victory, “ a thrilled Levy said following the game. “We showed character and didn’t fall apart after we gave up the tying goal. I hope that this win by the skin of our teeth will push us towards the championship playoffs.”

“We are going through a tough time and everything is going the wrong way,”Ashdod coach Ran Ben Shimon explained. “I believe that we are playing well despite the poor results. We missed an empty net in the 85th minute and then we conceded. That’s soccer. Every player here is contributing and I believe in this squad.”

Maccabi Netanya downed Hapoel Nof HaGalil 1-0 on an 84th minute strike by Aboubacar Doumbia to take the the points.

“The goal was to win so I’m happy,” Netanya’s coach Benny Lam said. “This was also our third game in a row that we didn’t give up a goal and I’m even happier about that.”

There are periods of time in soccer like this,” a frustrated Nof HaGalil coach Yaron Hochenboim said following the game. “We didn’t deserve to lose that’s for sure. They had one chance and we should have had at least a draw.”

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