Maccabi Haifa held on to defeat Hapoel Beer Sheva 2-1 after having to play the entire second half a man down due to a red card issued at the break to Raz Meir. The Greens came out flying as Omer Atzily scored a goal of the season candidate in the 7th minute when he sent a left footed lightning bolt behind keeper Omri Glazer for a 1-0 lead.
Barak Bachar’s squad doubled their advantage when Dolev Haziza sent a terrific ball into the box to Dean David but before it reached its intended target Beer Sheva defender Miguel Vitor directed it into his own goal. However, Roni Levy’s team came right back four minutes later as Mariano Barreiro scored from in close to cut the lead to 2-1 ahead of the break.
While the players headed down to their respective dressing rooms, Haifa defender Raz Meir was issued a straight red card for getting into a confrontation with Beer Sheva assistant coach Arik Benado reducing the Greens to ten men for the second half. But the southern reds couldn’t break through Haifa’s iron clad defense despite holding a one man advantage for the final 45 minutes as the visitors collected the win.
“The players gave 200% and performed heroically in the second half to take the win, our tenth in a row,” an emotional Barak Bachar said following the game. “We played one of our best first halves this season and we could have scored even more than two goals. The incident at halftime turned things a bit upside down but we were able to make it through.”
“There was a bit of craziness during the break and he shouldn’t have been sent off but wow stayed on course and won the game,” Haifa’s Dolev Haziza explained. “We could have scored more in the first half and when we surprisingly lost a man we knew we had to just buckle down and win the game.”
“None of us showed up for the first half and we didn’t show any intensity,” Beer Sheva coach Roni Levy said. “The goal we gave up dropped our confidence and it was juts not a good day for us at all. We tried to get back into the game in the second half and we just couldn’t do it.”