Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Jerusalem victorious

Apr 8, 2023 | Football

Maccabi Haifa scored four unanswered second half goals to overwhelm Maccabi Netanya 4-1 and move closer to taking the league championship by collecting the 3-points and the win. Igor Zlatanovic gave the diamond city squad a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute and headed into the break nursing a one-goal lead. However, Omer Atzily scored a quick brace to take a 2-1 lead by the 58th minute while Dia Saba headed home a marker and Muhammed Abu Fani added a strike during injury time to wrap up the win.

“We began the game well and we created chances,” Haifa coach Barak Bachar noted. “But then we gave up a goal and that upset us and got us out of our rhythm. But I am happy that we were able to do things well in the second half and made the right moves as we played with patience.”

“We didn’t show up to play in the second half,” a distraught Netanya coach Ron Kuzok said. “Despite having the lead we didn’t take advantage of the other chances that we had. We saw how much quality Haifa has and if you just take your foot off of the gas you will pay the price.”

Hapoel Jerusalem slipped by Ashdod 1-0 thanks to a Nadav Nidam first half goal as the Reds collected the 3-points and moved into 4th place which would enable them to play in Europa Conference League qualifiers.

“I don’t know if the club is ready for Europe,” Jerusalem coach Ziv Arie said. “Both teams were tired and there wasn’t quality soccer in this game. If we want to play in Europe we have to adjust to this type of schedule. This was an important win but 4th place isn’t relevant right now. If we make it to Europe that would be great but again I don’t know if this is the right stage for this club.”

“We could have done things better in this game,” Ashdod coach Ran Ben Shimon explained. “We were missing energy and in this type of match you can’t make mistake and we did. We had to keep this game goalless and not concede because once we were down we weren’t able to break free intelligently and we didn’t make good decisions.”

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