Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv draw 2-2; close in on league title – Highlights & Recaps

Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa played to a 2-2 draw at Bloomfield Stadium in a game that saw all four goals scored in the first half as the Greens moved closer to securing their first Israel League title in a decade. Haifa hold a 4-point lead over the yellow-and-blue atop the table with only three games remaining as Barak Bachar’s squad inched closer to the championship as the sides split the points.

Yonatan Cohen swung a perfect corner kick into the box as Eitan Tibi was able to get the ball by keeper Josh Cohen to give Maccabi a 1-0 lead in the 6th minute. Patrick van Leeuwen’s team doubled the advantage when striker Aleksandar Pesic made his way by Haifa central defender Bogdan Planic and put the ball into the corner of the goal for a 2-0 advantage.

However, Haifa maintained their composure and pulled a goal back in the 36h minute as Godsway Donio scored from in close. The Greens then tied the match up three minutes later when Tjaron Chery beat Maccabi keeper Daniel Tenenbaum cleanly in the box after taking an Omer Atzily pinpoint perfect pass as each team took a point following a goalless second half.

Maccabi Petach Tikva downed Kiryat Shemona 2-1 to give Guy Luzon’s squad the 3-points and moved a step closer to clinching a pace in European competition. Israeli starlet Liel Abada split the northerners defense and sent a scorcher into the goal in the 22nd minutes and four minutes later Englishman Morgan Ferrier doubled the advantage to give Pesach Tikva a 2-0 lead. The hosts pulled a marker back in the 61st minute when Roie Kehat found the back of the goal but that would be the closest that Kobi Refuah’s squad would get as the visitors took the win.

Bnei Yehuda slipped by Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 ahead of the Reds appearance later in the week in the Israel State Cup semifinals against Leumit League outfit Beitar Tel Aviv Bat Yam. Amir Rustum scored a late 86th minute goal to give Yossi Abuksis’s team the win and the 3-points.

Hapoel Haifa defeated Hapoel Kfar Saba 3-2 in a an entertaining game at Sammy Ofer Stadium. The Reds scored a trio of goals in the first half by Ruslan Barsky off a William Agada pass, Yahav Gorfinkel fed Alon Turgeman for the second strike while Agada found the back of the goal after latching onto a Gal Arel though ball for a 3-0 lead at the break. Timoti Muzie pulled a goal back and Omer Fadida scored from the penalty spot for Kfar Saba to get to within one goal, but Elisha Levy’s squad was able to hold on after losing Miki Siroshtein to a red card and collect the 3-points.

Hapoel Hadera and Maccabi Netanya drew 2-2 to split the points at the Netanya Stadium. Ivory Coast central defender Jonathan Cisse headed home a Maxim Plakuschenko free kick to give Menachem Koretzky’s team an early 1-0 lead but Lameck Banda scored for Netanya in the 42nd minute to tie the game up by the break. An own goal by Tal Kahila gave Raymond Atteveld’s side a 2-1 lead but Liran Rotman came right back for Hadera to once again level the score as each team took a point a piece.

Beitar Jerusalem upended Bnei Sakhin 3-1 as Yarden Shua scored a brace at Teddy Stadium to give the hosts the win. Ori Magbo gave Yossi Mizrachi’s squad a 1-0 lead thanks to fine play by Yarden Shua while the two combined once again for a second goal by the latter later in the first half to give Beitar a 2-0 lead into the break. Shua scored his second goal of the match via a 72nd minute penalty while five minutes later Osama Khalaila broke up keeper Itamar NItzan’s clean sheet.

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