Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv win, Beer Sheva blanks Nof HaGalil

Dec 11, 2021 | Football

Hapoel Beer Sheva blanked Hapoel Nof HaGalil 2-0 thanks to a pair of first half goals to stay atop the table. Miguel Vitor headed home a Ramzi Safuri corner kick while the latter himself sealed the deal at the stroke of halftime with a goal himself to hadn’t Roni Levy’s squad the 3-points.

“I’m proud of the players, the fans and the results,” Levy said. “We are always looking to do even more and I expect more from myself as well. We could have taken advantage of some of the situations that we were in during the second half to score a third goal but we just couldn’t accomplish that. However, we kept the clean sheet and that result and that is what is most important.”

“On one hand I am very disappointed but on the other I am very proud,” Nof HaGalil bench boss Yaron Hochenboim explained. “I didn’t see Beer Sheva have many chances and their goals were from set pieces and that is what I am also upset at because we knew that they are very good at dead ball opportunities.”

Maccabi Haifa defeated Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 as Dean David scored a pair of goals just five minutes apart in the first half that held up over the balance of the game to help the Greens to the 3-points. Omer Atzili and David combined on the first goal as the latter nodded home the ball in the 27th minute while Tjaron Chery sent David on his way for the second goal in the 32nd minute to stun the visitors and take a 2-0 lead. Yarden Shua cut the Haifa lead in the 73rd minute but that was as close as Beitar would get as the hosts recorded the victory.

“There was a drop in pace between the halves and we thought that the game was already in our pocket which happened this season against Netanya and we didn’t learn from that,” Haifa coach Barak Bachar said following the win. “At the end of the day we won but it was also was our 6th game in close to three weeks. While the first half was one of our best this season we ended up giving up a goal and we may have wanted to end this game as quickly as possible, we just didn’t.”

“We have to look at this game in two halves,” Beitar’s interim coach Gal Cohen said. “The first half we were confused and thought this was way too big for us. But the second half we saw the Beitar spirit and the substitutes were able to rally get into the game and we thought that we could escape with a point. We need to bring our quality and effort from the second half to all of our games.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv shut out Hapoel Hadera 3-0 as Tal Ben Chaim scored a brace to lead the yellow-and-blue to the win just before the new head coach Mladen Krstajić takes over the helm from Barak Itzhaki who had stepped in as the interim bench boss last month. 

Stipe Perica opened the scoring in the 34th minute as he slotted home an Eyal Golasa ball to take a 1-0 advantage. Ben Chaim took care of a Gaby Kanichowsky rebound in the 60th minute to double the score while the winger put in a tough angle shot ten minutes later to secure the victory.

“This was a good result and a good game,” Itzhaki said. “We controlled the game and we had plenty of chances. We scored and it was important that we didn’t concede any goals. We worked on many parameters of our game over the past few weeks and you can’t change it all in a minute or two. I will review the game with the new coach and I did what I could and gave everything of myself to the task.”

“There is no question that this was one of my best games this season,” an excited Ben Chaim said following the game. “The way we played is how we should in our own home stadium. This was our second win in a row and a clean sheet, this was really one of our best games. It was important for our confidence and we can’t afford to lose any more points.”

Bnei Sakhnin slipped by Maccabi Petah Tikva 1-0 on a first half goal by Beram Kayal via a penalty to snatch the 3-points in a game that was played in Kiryat Shemona due to the closure of Doha Stadium due to not meeting standards. Guy Luzon’s squad tried to come back in the second half but two red cards reduced Petah Tikva to 9-men and their chances evaporated.

“Doha Stadium? I’d rather not talk about non-soccer issues or else it will take hours,” winning coach Sharon Mimer said. “It was important for us to end the first round of games well and this was excellent for us. We built a new team and the players are doing a great job. I just want to focus on soccer and if we do so then we will be able to do some terrific things.”

“I don’t believe that the officiating was equal,” Petah Tikva head coach Guy Luzon said. “I haven’t complained about the refereeing this season but it seemed that every foul was a yellow card for us. When we received a red card we didn’t give up but in soccer you need to be focused for a full 90 minutes and we weren’t.”

Kiryat Shemona surprised Ashdod 2-0 as Itamar Shviro scored a brace at the port city to secure the 3-points for the visitors. Shviro struck early as he beat Ashdod keeper Yoav Gerafi in the 4th minute and added an insurance marker in the 59th minute to hand coach Slobodan Drapic’s squad the victory.

“Three wins in a row is terrific and we needed the points,” explained Kiryat Shemona coach Slobodan Drapic. “We knew we needed to keep collecting points as the league is so tight except for a couple of teams at the top of the table. We still need to play a bit better even though we won.”

“I’m very disappointed with the result but I am able to look forward and know that the soccer that we played will continue to help mold us into a good team,” Ashdod coach Ran Ben Shimon said. “We were missing some balance but the players tried to play well and we had a lot of chances, however, we needed to be sharper.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Netanya drew 1-1 to split the points at the Netanya Stadium. Omri Gendelman nodded home the opening goal to give Netanya a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute but Farley Rosa found the equalizer when the Brazilian sent a scorcher into the Hapoel goal to earn a point a piece.

“This was a fast paced game with lots of chances,” Hapoel coach Nir Klinger said following the game. “The first half was a bit weak but the second half is exactly how I wanted to see us play. Netanya only looked for counter attacks and we were in control for the most part.”

“We didn’t lose,” Netanya coach Benny Lam began. “I think we played like a bottom of the table team at certain points of the game. We were much better in the first half and in the second we weren’t as good. All in all the guys did what they needed to and this was a decent game for us.”

Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Haifa played to a 1-1 draw in the capital city as the two sides split the points. Liran Sardel fed Hanan Maman with a perfect ball in the box that the fonder spotted home to give the Carmel Reds a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute. However, super-substitute Idan Shemesh came on and found the equalizer from 13 meters out as he scored his third goal of the season to earn a point for Ziv Arie’s team.

“We could have won especially after taking the lead and the game was heading into the latter stages,” Hapoel haifa coach Elisha Levy said. “We didn’t have that many chances and we lost three in a row including the Derby blowout. I believe that the draw reflected the match itself.”

“I sound like a broken record but other than a couple of games we have been in it,” Jerusalem bench boss Ziv Arie noted. “This wasn’t a round of games that we should have only taken 11 points but really we deserved 15-16 and then the story would be a bit different.”

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