Heated Haifa Derby, Maccabi Tel Aviv keeps pace, Hapoel wins, Ashdod downs Beer Sheva

Maccabi Haifa blanked Hapoel Haifa 2-0 in a heated Haifa Derby that saw plenty of extra curricular activity between the players during and following the game as various scrums broke out that saw a total of five players receiving red cards that will carryover to upcoming matches. Following a goalless first half, Sun Menachem nodded in an Omer Atzili corner kick to give Maccabi a 1-0 lead in the 54th minute while substitute Godsway Donyoh beat ‘keeper Ran Kadosh thirty minutes later to sew up the victory.

“I don’t know exactly what happened but something like this shouldn’t have occurred,” stated Maccabi Haifa coach Barak Bachar. “Last Derby they tried to stir things up and we acted appropriately. I don’t want to go into this any further because I really didn’t see everything that happened.”

Hapoel Haifa veteran Gal Arel spoke about the game that was as well fight that broke out between the teams, “I’ve won a number of Derbies over my career and it’s fine to celebrate but when Sun Menachem came over to out bench and told us to go home what do they expect?”

Neta Lavi, the Maccabi Haifa captain looked at the importance of the victory, The most important thing was that we won and that the city of Haifa is Green. We will continue on and now we will turn our attention to our next game. As for what happened after the game, Israeli soccer doesn’t need this type of publicity and it’s like we turned back the clock.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv took care of Hapoel Hadera 3-1 thanks to a brace by striker Aleksandar Pesic to keep pace with first place Maccabi Haifa as they remain just two points behind the table leaders. Jonathan Cisse gave Menachem Koretzky’s squad a shock 1-0 lead when the defender headed home the opening goal of the game. However, the advantage was short lived as Patrick van Leeuwen’s team scored a quick pair of goals to go in front as Avi Rikan used his left foot to find the equalizer and Aleksandar Pesic took a Dan Bitton pass to beat ‘keeper Robi Levkovich. Bitton and Pesic teamed up once again as the duo sealed the deal in the 69th minute with another strike to finish off a 3-1 win.

Ashdod continued on their winning ways with a 3-0 whitewashing of Hapoel Beer Sheva at Turner Stadium. The port city squad got on the board early as Beer Sheva ‘keeper Ohad Levita tripped up Sagiv Yehezkel in the area good for a penalty as veteran Roie Gordana slotted home the spot kick to give Ran Ben Shimon’s team a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute.

Ashdod doubled the advantage in the 50th minute as Ramzi Safuri coughed up the ball to Shlomi Azulay and promptly sent it to Dean David who beat Levita. Later on in the second half Moussa Bagayoko finished off a Yakov Brihen pass to give Ashdod the convincing win.

Hapoel Tel Aviv downed Maccabi Petah Tikva 2-0 and picked up the 3 valuable points to move out of the league’s basement. Omri Altman fed Lidor Cohen who in turn sent a scorcher into Arik Yanko’s goal from 14 meters out to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. The aforementioned Altman then gave Nir Klinger’s squad an insurance marker via a second half penalty to secure the victory.

Hapoel Kfar Saba slipped by Bnei Sakhin 1-0 to collect the valuable three points for Elisha Levy’s squad and move further away from the relegation zone. Omer Fadida sent a perfect corner kick into the box that Tal Mahluf headed off of the left goal post and just out of the reach of Sakhin ‘keeper Muhammad Kandil’s outstretched arm for the lone strike of the game in the 55th minute.

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