Ligat Ha’Al Round 18 January 16-18, 2015

Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-0 Hapoel Akko

The sacrificial lamb of the Ligat Ha’Al, Hapoel Akko visited Bloomfield stadium Saturday night and was thumped by a game Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-0. The yellow and blue didn’t exactly lay out the welcome carpet for the port city club and they did themselves no favors as well picking up two penalties leading to Maccabi goals. Eran Zahavi scored the home team’s first goal already the 3rd minute when Branislav Jovanovic handled the ball in the box giving the star player his 2nd penalty goal in as many games. Tal Ben Chaim added the second goal on a gorgeous run down the right side of the pitch, slamming on the brakes in the box and whistling the ball past veteran Akko ‘keeper Dudu Goresh into the top left hand corner of the goal.

Eden Ben Basat then joined the party getting pulled down in the box by Imaye Taga and adding a penalty goal of his own. At 3-0 before halftime, the final 45 minutes were already in the books.

Barak Itzhaki made his Ligat Ha’Al season debut after scoring a brace last week in Israel State Cup action against Beitar Tel Aviv Ramle, coming on in the second half for the aforementioned Ben Basat. Itzhaki played the final 30 minutes of the match along with Maharan Radi who came on for Gal Alberman.

The win keeps Pako Ayestaran’s squad within one point of Kiryat Shemona who won earlier away at Hapoel Petach Tikva. When asked after the match how he felt of his team’s performance, Ayestaran said that he was pleased with the first half but not with the second as the players lost a bit of their edge and the score should have been much higher than just 3-0. 

Bnei Sahknin 0-2 Maccabi Netanya

Netanya welcomed new coach Roni Levy with a nice away win as the team picked up an important victory and three points. Captain Eran Levy opened the scoring and sought after striker Larry Kayode picked up the 2nd goal to send the travelling fans home happy.

Hapoel Raanana 1-0 Maccabi Haifa

Raanana picked up their second win in a row for the new/old coach Haim Silvas this time defeating a more than troubled Haifa team. Mamdou Thiam made Matan Ohayon pay for his defensive error for the lone goal of the match as Green coach Marko Balbul has some major work ahead of him in attempting to make his side a viable team for the 2nd half of the season.

Hapoel Haifa 1-2 Kiryat Shemona

Table leaders Kiryat Shemona ended their one game losing streak with a quality away victory at Sammy Ofer Stadium against Hapoel Haifa. The home side took a shock 1-0 lead on the foot of Ma’aran Lalaa but a wonderful goal by Adrian Rochet and a header by Rodgers Kola gave Barak Bachar’s club the 3 points. The win guarantees that the northern team will remain in first place overall in Ligat Ha’Al.

Hapoel Petach Tikva 1-2 Ashdod

Ashdod opened the scoring with Ya Ya Peti making Petach Tikva keeper Kale pay for his costly error giving the away side a 1-0 lead. Dor Hugi evened the score in the 70th minute after a wonderful pass by Omri Altman. However, Michael Ochana had the last word as he did the week before scoring and giving coach Nir Klinger an important victory me a hard earned 3 points.

Hapoel Beer Sheva 1-0 Maccabi Petach Tikva

Beer Sheva won at home and kept within striking distance of Maccabi Tel Aviv on a John Ogu goal. Maor Bozaglo was the catalyst for the Ogu strike giving coach Elisha Levy the slim win. Beer Sheva went down to ten men after William Suarez was shown red in minute 45 but Maccabi Petach Tikva couldn’t keep up the momentum gained last week after their stirring 3-0 victory over league leaders Kiryat Shemona. 

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