Maccabi Haifa ends regular season with win over Hapoel TLV to top the table, Beer Sheva wins to keep pace

Mar 13, 2023 | Football

Maccabi Haifa slipped by Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 thanks to Omer Atzily’s second half goal to take the points and finish the regular season in first place.

“We didn’t expect this game to be easy and we knew what we were in for,” Haifa coach Barak Bachar began. “We also knew that when we would have a chance we would be able to score which is what we did. We knew that Omer Atzily was having a tough time and we worked together on getting him out of that and he has played very well the last two games.”

“I’m disappointed as to how we played in the first half and how we dealt with Haifa’s pressure,” Hapoel coach Haim Silvas explained. “We played too many minutes defending but things started to open up in the second half and then we gave up a goal on a cast to coast play which was exactly what we didn’t want to happen after we had started to control the game.”

Hapoel Beer Sheva just slipped by Kiryat Shemona 2-1 as Helder Lopes scored a second half injury time penalty to cancel out his late own goal and hand the southern reds the win. Tomer Hemed opened the scoring early with a 6th minute penalty following a reckless foul in the box. Hemed had the opportunity to double the advantage just ahead of the break via yet another spot kick after Noam Cohen yanked down Eugene Ansah in the box, but the marksman skied his chance over the bar as the hosts took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

As the game neared its end, Helder Lopes’s clearing attempt ended up in his own goal to pull the visitors even, but the defensive back made up for his miscue with a penalty of his own deep into stoppage time to give Beer Sheva the win.

“This is a game that I would like to forget,” Beer Sheva coach Elyaniv Barda said. “There were plenty of chances, three penalties, but on the other hand we were just not good enough and our substitutes didn’t help either. We have a group with a lot of character to believe that we could comeback to win.”

“We forced Beer Sheva to play poorly in this game,” a disappointed Slobodan Drapic began. “They are a good team and I know that from having played them earlier this season. But to have three penalties which I believe not all of them were is tough. We have seven tough games to go and now we have to ready for the relegation playoffs.”

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