Kayal & Sakhnin overpower Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Tel Aviv downs Haifa, Dean David stars for Ashdod

Bnei Sakhin defeated Beitar Jerusalem 3-2 as Beran Kayal scored a pair of goals to pace the visitors to the win. Kayal opened the scoring with a 7th minute penalty as the former English Premier League midfielder slotted home the spot kick after Santiago Ocampos handled the ball in the box. Sakhnin doubled their advantage when Kayal nodded the ball by Itamar Nitzan ahead of the break for a 2-0 lead. Moti Barshatzky added more misery to the yellow-and-black when he finished off a counter attack led by Kayal to give Sharon Mimer’s squad a 3-0 advantage after 60 minutes. The hosts pulled a couple of late goals as Eliran Atar scored from 20 meters out and then assisted on Matheusinho’s marker but it was too little too late for the capital city squad as Sakhnin took the 3-points.

Following the game, Beitar Jerusalem owner Moshe Hogeg was livid at his team’s performance, “How could the players come and play in such a game? This was a game for the whole season and if they aren’t fit they shouldn’t dress. Those who do play had to give everything that they have; there is nonsuch thing as exhaustion. We didn’t touch the play until Sakhnin scored and we came into such an important game so poorly, why does it have to be this way?”

“When you feel too confident and you come to the game uncommitted with a sense of complacency this is what happens,” said a massively disappointed Beitar associate coach Shay Barda. The way we began they game was a catastrophe. This was an extremely poor showing and the other team wanted it more. Thus can’t happen to a team like Beitar.”

Sakhnin’s coach Sharon Mimer was all smiles after his debut win with the club, “This was an important win and the players did it after being in poor form and in last place. As for Kayal, he’s not just any other player. I’m happy to have the opportunity to coach someone of his top level professionalism.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped Hapoel Haifa 2-0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium by the Carmel mountain to keep pace with table leaders Maccabi Haifa. The yellow-and-blue scored a pair of second half goals while also playing with ten men for the majority of the second half to notch the win. Nick Blackman scored in the 50th minutes thanks to a mine team play by Eylon Almog and Maor Kandil to give Maccabi the lead, but just five minutes later saw defender Shachar Piven sent off with his second yellow card of the game. However, it was the short handed side that scored later on in the half as Dor Peretz headed home the 82nd minute insurance marker off an Eduardo Guerrero assist take the 3-points.

“It’s never boring,” Maccabi bench boss Patrick van Leeuwen said. “We began the game well and we were the better team. We scored a nice goal but then went down a man which made things more difficult for us. We are always fighting and we scored another goal which is the correct way to finish off a game.”

Goal scorer Dor Peretz who is rumored to be heading to Europe after this season was happy about the win and the work that his team did against Haifa, “I may have been tired at the end of the game but I will still go out there and give it my all to get another goal. We’re happy with the result. I’m a Maccabi player and that is where my head is at, but we will see as things progress.”

“This was an even matchup and it’s disappointing,” Haifa coach Haim Silvas stated. “I felt that we deserved better in this game. The red card gave us an advantage but their second goal killed the game.”

Ashdod sunk Hapoel Kfar Saba 2-0 on a pair of first half goals by Dean David. The winger opened the scoring in the 17th minute and finished the game off in the 44th when he took a Shlomi Azulay pass and put it behind Itamar Nitzan to take the 3-points and the win for Ran Ben Shimon’s squad.

“We always want to play positive soccer and now that we are nearing the end of the marathon we have to take yet another step forward and we did that in this win,” an upbeat Ben Shimon said. “We are a fun team to watch and once we clinch a place in the championship playoffs which we already a foot and a half into, we’ll look even better.”

The star of the show Dean David reflected on his performance as well as the team’s, “We have a very good club here and we want to win as many games as possible after a number of tough years. This was a big win and I hope that we will continue winning and playing well.”

“Of course I am concerned about relegation and that would be very bad if I didn’t,” Kfar Saba coach Elisha Levy said. “We can’t be desperate as this is a very long battle and no matter how difficult this fight will be we have to do our part and turn it around.”

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