Maccabi Haifa readies for UCL with win over Hapoel Beer Sheva, Maccabi TLV wins

Sep 3, 2022 | Football

Maccabi Haifa will begin their UFEA Champions League campaign Tuesday night in Lisbon when they visit Benfica on matchday one of arguably the best annual club competition in the world. This will be the third time that the Greens will be featuring in the Champions League and the first since the 2009/10 season.

During that camping which was managed by head coach Elisha Levy, Haifa did not score a goal or earn a point in the six game group stage. This time around there is no question that Barak Bachar will be aiming to ensure that not his team will score but also earn a number of points while also picking a number of wins along way.

However, that won’t be an easy task as along with Benfica, Haifa will also play against Lionel Messi and Paris St. German as well as Italian powerhouse Juventus. The Portuguese side will welcome Haifa to the Estadio De Luz as head coach Roger Schmidt who was recently in charge of PSV in Holland and will try to ensure that the over 65,000 fans in attendance will cause the visitors all kinds of issues. So far this season, Benfica have a perfect home record of 3-0 with their most recent win coming over Vizela by the score of 2-1.

Right before the Greens kickoff in Portugal, Barak Bachar’s squad downed Hapoel Beer Sheva thanks to last second heroics to take the 3-points and the win just before heading out to Portugal and a Champions League date with Benfica. Tomer Hemed headed home a 35 meter Ramzi Safouri free kick to score his first goal in Israeli league play since 2011.

However, Bachar’s squad knotted the match up in the 40th minute via an Omer Atzily penalty but just before halftime, Safouri was shown red for a reckless play on Daniel Sundgren leaving the hosts Beer Sheva down to 10-men. As the match looked to be heading towards a draw, Atzily fed Frantzdy Pierrot with a tremendous ball that the latter stabbed home to help Haifa snatch the 3-points.

“This game had plenty of action and it was an important win for us,” Bachar said following the dramatic victory. We did it like winners and to be able to score a goal so late in the game and to comeback to win, I have to take off my hat to the players. We have to give a push now as we are playing a number of games coming.”

Omer Atzily looked back at the win while looking ahead to the Champions League match at Benfica, “This had a sweet ending and I’m happy it went our way. Now we are focussing on Benfica which is just great. For all of us the Champions League is new and we are lol very excited. We are coming into that game with the goal to win and I hope that this is what will happen.”

“It’s hard for me to calm down after this game which is now the second one in a row that we went down a man,” an upset Hapoel Beer Sheva coach Elyaniv Barda said. “There were plenty of things that led us to the red card and Ramzi made a huge mistake and shouldn’t have done what he did.”

At Bloomfield Stadium, Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped Kiryat Shemona 3-1 as Gaby Kanichowsky scored a brace to lead Ivic’s squad to the victory. Kanichowsky opened the scoring after jumping on a rebound after a total team play while he scored his second from 13 meters out from an Oscar Glouch pass to give the hosts a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.

Djorde Jovanovic was issued a red card for a reckless foul in the 80th minute but going down a man didn’t hurt the yellow-and-blue attack as Parfait Guiagon took care of a Dor Peretz pass, but Itamar Shviro scored deep into second half injury time to break up keeper Daniel Peretz’s clean sheet.

“We’re disappointed to have given up a goal at the end of the match but that’s not really a problem,” Maccabi coach Vladen Ivic said. “This was a good enough game for us to win but we gave to improve our game and we had plenty of problems defensively. We have to work on our team defense which is a problem that we gave seen in numerous games.

“Any time you lose, you’re disappointed and even if we would have played well and lost it also wouldn’t have been fun either,” Kiryat Shemona coach Menachem Koretzky commented. “We could have done more and I’m saying that with clearly, hopefully we will take some of this down the road.”

The man of the match Gaby Kanichowsky reflected on the game that was, “Obviously this is fun and we are playing well. I am happy that I started and scored two goals. Playing with so many good players is fun and I am enjoying every moment. We have to continue to battle as those who want to play will need to prove oneself.”

Elsewhere, Beitar Jerusalem dominated Sektzia Nes Ziona 3-0 as Danilo Asprilla scored a second half brace to take the points. A give and go with Bar Cohen set Asprilla’s up for a give and go goal in the 53rd minute and added his second strike off an Orel Dagani pass to go up 2-0 less than ten minutes later. Just before the final whistle Cohen played facilitator once again but this time for Dagani himself as Yossi Abuksis’s team took the points.

“A lot of tension was released after this win,” Abukasis’s said. “It’s never pleasant to begin a season with a pair of losses and we didn’t start this game of we’ll also. But we looked much better in the second half and right now at this stage of the season it’s just important to pick up wins.”

“I’d you’re looking at just the first half, this game should have ended with four or five goals for us but as they said those who don’t score are punished,” Nes Ziona bench boss Nir Berkovic said. “Perhaps it’s physiological pressure that’s holding us back from scoring. We will gave it wikrd hard at practice.

Meanwhile, Hapoel Jerusalem blanked Ashdod 3-0 in a dominant performance as Guy Badash scored a brace to lead Ziv Arie’s club to the win. The reds took a quick lead in the 6th minute when Badash slotted home a penalty while he doubled the advantage soon after halftime as he latched onto a brilliant Barak Badash through ball to go up 2-0. Tomer Altman added the third marker in the 87th minute when he scored off a Ahmed Salman cross in the box to take the 3-points.

Also, Bnei Sakhnin just got by Hapoel Haifa 2-1 to secure the 3-points thanks to a Guy Melamed 90th minute penalty. After a quiet start to the game, the Carmel reds lost Tamir Glazer to a red card after committing a reckless foul in the 42nd minute, reducing the hosts to 10-men for the balance of the game. Beram Kayal drilled home a free kick from 25 meters to give Haim Silvas’s squad a 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute, but Shoval Gozlan drew Nir Klinger’s side even soon thereafter. However, deep into second half injury time, Guy Melamed slotted home a spot kick to snatch the 3-points for Sakhnin.

Finally, Hapoel Hadera dropped Bnei Reineh 2-1 as Mohamed Khatib scored the winning goal to give Assaf Nimni’s squad the 3-points. Saar Fadida scored from 25 meters out to give visiting Hadera the lead in the 23rd minute but less than five minuets later Ahmed Abed drew the hosts even at 1-1. But Khatib found the winner in the 75th minute to give Hadera their first points of the campaign.

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