Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv both win

Feb 26, 2023 | Football

Maccabi Haifa defeated Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 in a highly charged affair at Sammy Ofer Stadium. Former Green midfielder Yarden Shua slotted home a penalty in the 11th minute to give the visitors a surprise 1-0 lead but Frantzdy Pierrot drew the hosts even at 1-1 just ahead of halftime.

However, just before the break Grigori Morozov was handed his second yellow card for some extra-curricular activity with Dolev Haziza ro leave the capital city squad with only ten men for the entire second half. With Barak Bachar’s charges pushing for a go ahead goal they got just that when Tjaron Chery took a Muhamed Jaber ball and put it behind keeper Miguel Silva as Haifa took the points.

“When you lose, you’re going through a tough time and when you win everything is fine,” Haifa coach Barak Bachar began. “Everything needs to be in proportion. Even when we lost to Ashdod last week we knew that we are a good team and that we would be able to overcome the situation.”

“It’s disappointing that things can change up in an instant at the end of the first half, “ Beitar head coach Yossi Abuksis said. “I am disappointed because in the first half we were worth more than a goal and we needed to score another one when you have such chances against a team like Maccabi Haifa.”

Hapoel Beer Sheva downed Bnei Reineh 2-0 on a brace by Adrian Paun as the Romanian striker scored a goal in each half to take the points and stay in second pace, 4 points off the top of the table.

“We could have scored even more, we moved the ball back and forth and once we scored it was like we broke the ice,” Beer Sheva coach Elyaniv Barda said. “I’m happy with our desire to win the game as every game is important especially our home games. Our next game will be the most important game as we want to make sure we play out best and finish well ahead of the championship playoffs.”

“I’m not looking at the fact that we haven’t won in 15 games but I am looking at the situation on the table,” Bnei Reineh coach Sharon Mimer said. We have 9 games that are like finals coming up and I am sure that the guys will do the job. We gave up a goal in they first half and we tried to tie the game up in the second but we gave up another goal on a counter attack.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv blanked Sektzia Nes Ziona 2-0on a Djorde Jovanovic first half brace to take the win and the 3-points for Aitor Karanka’s squad. Dor Peretz sent a magnificent through ball to the striker as Jovanovic finally scored after six league games without finding the back of the goal in the 31st minutes. Ten minutes later Jovanovic struck again this time with a header off of an Enric Saborit cross to sew up the game ahead of halftime.

I’m not happy with the quality of our play, “Aitor Karanka said following the game. “We didn’t play that well and while it’s important that we won’t the game and took the 3 very critical points, we still have plenty of work to improve our play. Sometimes when you win you can think that everything’s fine but we all know that we have much to improve upon.”

“We have to look at the good points from the game which was our desire, drive and motivation,” Shlomi Dura commented. “We conceded during some of our good minutes because we were not in the right places and then we gave up another goal. Maccabi Tel Aviv will punish you if given the chance.”

Ashdod came back from a goal down to down Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-1 as Mugees Zakaria scored a pair of goals for the port city side. Dan Einbinder gave the reds a 1-0 lead via a 24th minute header but after that it was all Ran Ben Shimon’s squad. Just after halftime, Zakaria took a through ball and put it past a helpless Hapoel keeper Emilijus Zubas and then scored his second on a superb individual effort in the 85th minute to complete the brace and comeback.

“To come into this game after a high like we had last week against Maccabi Haifa and then gave up a goal was tough,” Ashdod bench boss Ran Ben Shimon began. “But to stay with it and not give up both physically and mentally and to score the winner at such a critical moment as we battle for a place in the championship playoffs gives me such pride.”

“We gave up some goals that we haven’t conceded recently,” Reds coach Haim Silva’s said. “Our second half was not good and our bench didn’t help either. If we would have been in this game for at least the first half we would have won. Unfortunately this is the game of soccer.”

Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Haifa played to an entertaining 2-2 draw as the Carmel Reds found the equalizer late in the game to split the points. Ofek Bitton opened the scoring for the capital city squad in the 22nd minute as he finished off a team play in the box as the gists dominated play early.

In order to counteract the lopsided display, Haifa bench boss Roni Levy made a trio of substitutes minutes later which paid off in the 38th minute when Aleksandar Scekic knotted the game up at 1-1 ahead of the break. Guy Badash slotted home a penalty in the 64th minute but Mohammed Kamara found the back of the goal from inside the area 25 minutes later to earn a point for their efforts.

“We started the game well and we should have won and scored another goal,” Hapoel Jerusalem head coach Ziv Arie. “But we have to keep going forward. We’ve played well but the games have been tough in this round of games. We want to get into the championship playoffs and hopefully we will be able to do that next week against Maccabi Tel Aviv.”

“We began the game very poorly both on an individual level and as a team but we were able to take a point at the end of the day which is good,” Haifa bench boss Roni Levy squd. “As for the three early substitutes, I felt that this was the right thing to do at the time, to bring on some quicker players in order to help the team.”

Kiryat Shemona opened up strong with three goals including a Itamar Shviro brace by the 24th minute to down Bnei Sakhnin 3-1. Shviro nodded in a pair of goals by the 19th minute while Roi Kehat scored five minutes later to take a quick 3-0 lead. Dor Hugi pulled a goal back right before the break but ten minutes into the second half, Ihab Genaim was sent off with his second yellow card as Slobodan Drapic’s team took the victory.

“We began the game well and to go up 3-0 so quickly isn’t easy,” Kiryat Shemona coach Slobodan Drapic said. “4-5 players that didn’t play last week did so this game and there are so many other players that I need to become familiar with as there are many new players from when I was here last season”

“The game was pretty much done after 30 minutes of play and then we scored a goal to cut the lead to 3-1 so we thought that maybe we could comeback,” Kobi Refuah began. “But the moment we got a red card it was basically impossible. We weren’t good enough in this game as Kiryat Shemona we’re better than us and won this battle.”

Maccabi Netanya slipped by Hapoel Hadera 1-0 thanks to Patrick Twumasi’s penalty goal in the 54th minute of the match following a handball that had been called in the box.

“We knew that this game wasn’t going to be easy,” Netanya’s Ran Kozuk said. “But we keep that out fast paced attack would give us an advantage at the end and that is what occurred. From the get to there was one team that was more intense than the other and that’s what we wanted to do.”

“This was our worse game since I returned to coach the team,” Menachem Koretzky began. “We started the game off poorly and we couldn’t string together two passes. We couldn’t control the ball and find open space to operate and it’s not like Netanya had many chances we were just not good enough.”

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