Maccabi Haifa moved to within just one win of wrapping up their third straight league title with a 3-1 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Gaby Kanichowsky gave the yellow-and-blue an early 1-0 lead but the greens drew even right before the break when Dolev Haziza found the back of the goal to head into halftime all knotted up at 1-1.
It didn’t take Dia Saba long to give the hosts the lead when he pounced on a 50th minute rebound to go up 2-1 while Saba played a part in the third marker when his attempt glanced off of Maccabi defender Andre Geraldes and behind Daniel Peretz as Barak Bachar’s team wrapped up the victory.
There are always heart-stopping moments but from the first minute we played really well,” Bachar began following the game. “We created chances, many with a lineup specifically to do that. Every time we went with an attacking lineup we have won and I’m happy that we were able to do that again.”
“We scored first and had other opportunities to score as well,” Maccabi coach Aitor Karanka said. “One mistake cost us a lot. We’ve had a tough week with the loss here and in the State Cup but despite the defeat we fought until the end. We can’t talk about this being a failure if the players gave everything they had.”
By the Port City, Hapoel Beer Sheva blanked Ashdod 1-0 thanks to Ramzi Safouri’s 6th minute strike to give Elyaniv Barda’s squad the 3-points.
“This was a big win for us,” Barda said following the game. “We went into this game without some players and our defensive line was made up of guys who had never played together. We even had to dress three youth players as a number of players were injured and will be out for the rest of the season.”
“For the first quarter hour we looked like a team that was in trouble,” Ashdod coach Ran Ben Shimon said. “It looked like our State Cup loss but then we locked in and played better than Beer Sheva. We controlled the ball and created chances but we just couldn’t score.”