Haifa scores a 6-spot, Jovanovic helps Maccabi Tel Aviv to win over Kiryat Shmona, Sakhin downs Hapoel Tel Aviv, Netanya upends Beer Sheva

Feb 5, 2022 | Football

Maccabi Tel Aviv slipped by pesky Kiryat Shmona 1-0 as new recruit Djordje Jovanovic scored the lone goal of the game to hand the yellow-and-blue the 3-points. After a goalless first half, head coach Malden Krstajic made wholesale changes in the second half as he introduced their brand new signings Jovanovic who latched onto a Dan Bitton ball in the 67th minute and put it behind the Kiryat Shmona keeper to take the win.

“We had a good game and we controlled the pace of play throughout,” Krstajic said following the game. We reacted well after we lost the ball and this was an important game following the Cup. I hope that Jovanovic will do m any good things for Maccabi in the future and he’s the right player for this.”

“We are losing points that we really need,” Kiryat Shemona coach Slobodan Drapic said. “We had a number of players who made their league debut and they gave it their all. We gave to be sharper near the goal and be ready for our chances.”

Jovanovic also spoke about his debut performance, “This was a tough game against a very good opponent and it was an important match ahead of the Derby. I want to thank all of the fans for the way they have welcomed me, Maccabi is a big club with a rich history. I spoke to make people that have worked here and played here in the past and it’s like Real Madrid.”

Maccabi haifa drubbed Ashdod 6-0 as Omer Atzily scored four straight goals while Dean David add the final two in the blowout win that saw the visitors reduced to 10-men the 6th minute as Timothy Away was sent off for pulling down Dean David as he was going in on goal.

“There is a lot of good to take out of this game and we needed a win after a couple of draws,” Barak Bachar said following the win. “The red card of course influenced the game but even when you play against 10 men you need to know who to do the job.”

“Unfortunately, this game reminded me of a tennis match,” a disappointed Ran Ben Shimon said. “I can’t describe the feeling in words. It’s easy to use the red card as the excuse but that is juts 50% of the issue. I will keep my feelings to myself but this was one of the most embarrassing game in my life.”

Bnei Sakhnin downed Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 for their second win in as many games under new head coach Haim Silvas. Fahd Bayo took a Beram Kayal ball and put it by Reds keeper Ernestas Setkus just ahead of the halftime whistle to take the points.

“This was a critical game for us,” Silvas said after the game. “We came into this game very well prepared and we controlled the pace of play with a tremendous amount of pressure on the ball. We gave up the ball a bit too much and maybe we could have finished off the game much earlier”

“I don’t believe that we deserved to lose,” assistant coach Saleem Tuama explained. “We came to play properly and we created a number of chances but were unable to score. We ended up giving up an unnecessary goal in a critical minute of the game and that was it.”

Maccabi Petah Tikva recorded a huge 3-1 win over Hapoel Jerusalem in a relegation battle at Teddy Stadium. The Reds opened the scoring with a Guy Badash free kick from 25 meters out in the 29th minute but after that it was all Petah Tikva with a trio of second half unanswered goals. Ido Shachar drew Guy Luzon’s team even with a 55th minute penalty while Ion Nicolaescu and Lameck Banda each scored as they took care of a pair of Jerusalem miscues to take the two goal victory.

“We deserved the win,” Petah Tikva coach Nir Klinger said following the victory. “We were the better team. When we were down by a goal at halftime we made some changes and I have to take my hat off to the players as we were almost a foot in the second division. The game plan worked and this was a small step in a long journey for us.”

“We had some chances to widen the gap after our goal and finish the game off,” Jerusalem coach Ziv Arie explained. “But we gave up an irresponsible goal like every game and I don’t even know what to say about the rest of our mistakes. We will learn from them.”

Maccabi Netanya defeated Hapoel Beer Sheva 1-0 on a 55th minute goal by Aviv Avraham to get the Diamond city squad the 3-points and the win.

“I’m very proud of the players, the staff, the entire club and the fans,” an excited Netanya coach Benny Lam said following the win. “It was incredible to see how we came to play against one of the big clubs. We only looked to win the game and nothing else. It was just a pleasure to see the team play.”

“This was very disappointing,” Beer Sheva coach Roni Levy began. “Any time that you lose you can’t be happy. We tried everything we that we could on the attack and we came to a couple of chances that perhaps we could have scored own should we have been calmer.”

Hapoel Hadera just slipped by Hapoel Haifa 1-0 as Jonathan Cisse scored the lone goal of the game in 94th minute to snatch the 3-points just before the final whistle which keeps Menachem Koretzky’s squad in terrific position to advance to the Championship Playoffs.

“We had a tough week due to losing some players in the transfer window,” Koretzky said after the game. “But the players gave it their all and I am so proud of them. We were able to put all of those things behind us and we all said that if we can keep up our good play then it would be an even bigger accompaniment.”

“We had some good moments in this game including a goal that was called off,” a disappointed Haifa coach Elisha Levy said. “We were in control throughout the game and dictated the pace of play and it should have ended in a draw.”

Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Nof HaGalil played to a thrilling goalless draw with chances galore at both ends of the field at Teddy Stadium as the sides split the points.

“Beitar had some chances but we need to find points which we can do with hard work,” Nof HaGalil coach Shay Barda said following the game. “The fight against relegation will go all the way to the end of the season. We had chances to score but the ball didn’t go in, however, we are going in the right direction.”

“It was really exciting to be back on the Beitar side of the pitch for the first time in years,” Yossi Abuksis, who was making his debut as Jerusalem coach said. “This was a crazy game that could have been 3-3 or 4-4. There were so many chances, quality opportunities which led to a great game.”

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