Sakhnin draws with Maccabi TLV, Beer Sheva drops Beitar, Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv win

Dec 21, 2021 | Football

Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Sakhnin played to a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Stadium as the teams split the points. Sharon Mimer’s side took an early 12th minute 1-0 lead as Ante Puljic scored from inside the box but Matan Baltaxa drew Mladen Krstajic’s squad even 10 minutes later. Sakhnin’s Moti Barshazki was sent off in the 44th minute after a reckless tackle on Gaby Kanichowsky, but the yellow-and-blue couldn’t find a way to beat the Sakhnin defense over the course of the second half.

“I am very proud of my team and it wasn’t an easy game for them,” Mimer said following the match. “Coming in to Maccabi’s home and then losing a player, to record a draw is exceptional. We want to keep collecting points and stay near the top of the table. We have an even bigger game against Maccabi Haifa coming up.”

“We played against the third place team on the table and we are not satisfied with the one point,” a disappointed Mladen Krstajic. “We didn’t have enough concentration in the first half and we conceded an early goal. We recognized that we couldn’t do anything extra with an additional player and we couldn’t get the ball through.”

Hapoel Beer Sheva overwhelmed Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 as Roni Levy’s team are still undefeated on the season after 14 games. Miguel Vitor headed home the first goal with authority to give the southern Reds a 1-0 lead in the first half. Nikita Rukavytsya doubled the advantage in the 62nd minute when he finished off a nice team play together with Ramzi Safouri and Sagi Yehezkel. Roie Herman pulled a goal back for Yossi Mizrachi’s side a few minutes later, but Itay Shechter pounded home a rebound in the 81st minute to finish off the 2-goal victory.

“I really enjoyed many parts of this game,” a content Levy said following the game. “This was a game we had to win at home. We wanted to hold the ball, press and play solid defense which we did. We are also becoming much sharper on offense but the most important thing is to be able to continue our fine play.”

“I see plenty of problems in this team,” Mizrachi said. “We didn’t play poorly but the issues are on the defensive side of the game. We prepared for Beer Sheva’s counter attacks and set pieces and that was unfortunately where we gave up the goals. We now have some games coming up against teams at our level and we have to get our defending together.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Ashdod 4-1 as Shlomi Azulay and Osher Davida each scored braces to help the visitors snatch the points while new head coach Kobi Refuah looked on from the stands. Kenny Saief gave the port city side a 1-0 lead with a perfect attempt from outside of the box, but Azulay took a through ball and beat Yoav Gerafi to draw even ahead of halftime. Davida sent a scorcher that went off the bar and into the goal to give the Reds a 2-1 lead in the 64th minute while 15 minutes later the youngster added his second of the game thanks to an Azulay through ball to go up by a pair of goals. Azulay then slammed home the fourth a final marker of the game to give Hapoel the victory.

“The players gave 200% effort in what was a strange game,” Refuah explained. “After seven games without a win it was critical to win here. I want to see attractive soccer and belief is something important in all aspects of life. After drawing even before the break the guys went into the second half and battled for the victory.”

“For the majority of the game we were the better team on the pitch,” Ran Ben Shimon, Ashdod’s coach said. “We controlled the pace of play and we led 1-0 but then gave them a gift and after the second goal they broke us. This showed how we had lost out confidence after suffering a painful loss in the State Cup.”

Maccabi Haifa blanked Hapoel Hadera 1-0 on a first half Dean David goal to give the Greens the 3-points.

“1-0 small or big is a win and we played against a tough team,” a satisfied Haifa coach Barak Bachar said following the game. “We could have led by more and maybe scored another goal but the players are giving it their all in a very busy month. We played smart football and did what we needed to in order to take the win.”

“You could say that the game plan worked other than the result,” Hadera’s Menachem Koretsky said. “It’s too bad as we played well and had chances. I feel as if we missed a good chance for a result, perhaps at least a point. Unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.”

Hapoel Jerusalem scored three unanswered goals to down Hapoel Nof HaGalil 3-1 at Teddy Stadium in the capital city. Visiting Nof HaGalil grabbed a quick 1-0 lead as Wahib Habiballa headed home a 5th minute penalty but William Agada scored in the 37th minute to knot the score up as the sides headed into the break. Ahmad Salman gave Ziv Arie’s squad the lead early on in the second half while Guy Hadida scored from the penalty spot soon there after to add the insurance goal for Jerusalem and take the 3-points.

“We could have lamented about our situation or we could have come out to win this game and move out of the relegation zone and that is what we did,” Jerusalem bench boss Ziv Arie said. “We gave up an early goal but we came back and I am happy about how we are playing but we still need to take advantage of the situations we are in.”

“We created chances and we just couldn’t convert them,” Nof HaGalil coach Yaron Hochenboim stated. “Instead of going up 2-0 and finish the game we fell apart. It’s clear that we are missing some defensive players and I believe that we will strengthen the squad in January. It’s been a long time since we lost to Hapoel Jerusalem.”

Maccabi Netanya downed Hapoel Haifa 1-0 as Yaniv Mizrachi scored a 56th minute goal off a throw in play to hand Benny Lam’s squad the 3-points.

“This was a very important game for us as we wanted to create some separation from the bottom of the table,” Lam said following the win. “I told the team that this was must win in against a team that we had lost points against. I have to take my hat off to them as every player gave it their all.”

“This was a game that we couldn’t afford to lose,” Haifa coach Elisha Levy began, “We didn’t play intelligently and we wasted time. This was not a good performance and we need to move on and go into our next game with more balance. We have had trouble creating chances and this is a problematic issue. We are just not scoring and if you can’t do that, you can’t win.”

Kiryat Shemona slipped by Maccabi Petah Tikva 1-0 on 94th minute goal by Yadin Lugassi to take the 3-points and the win.

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