Maccabi Haifa retakes 1st place after Maccabi Tel Aviv draws against Ashdod


Maccabi Haifa blasted Kiryat Shemona 4-0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium and leapfrogged Maccabi Tel Aviv into first place after the yellow-and-blue drew at home against Ashdod. Godsway Donio gave the Greens an early lead when he nodded home the opening goal of the game in the 8th minute while Tjaron Chery doubled the advantage before the break when he took care of a Sun Menachem ball as Barak Bachar’s squad went into halftime up 2-0. Muhammed Awaad continued the goal fest with his first since returning to the Carmel while Omer Atzily pounced on a rebound off the bar to finish off the rout. Maccabi Haifa will kickoff in State Cup play against Hapoel Afula on Thursday.

Maccabi Tel Aviv and Ashdod drew 1-1 at Bloomfield Stadium as the yellow-and-blue dropped out of first place. After a scoreless opening frame, halftime substitute Yakov Brihen scored just there minutes into the second half to stun the hosts and give Ran Ben Shimon’s squad a 1-0 lead. However, Enric Saborit took an Aleksandar Pesic ball and pounded it home to draw Patrick van Leeuwen’s side even. Maccabi pressed to find a winner to remain at the top of the table, but had to settle for a point as they will play once again on Wednesday in State Cup quarterfinal action.

Beitar Jerusalem and Bnei Yehuda played to a dramatic 2-2 draw that saw Ori Magbo slam home a 95th minute equalizer off an Idan Vered header that went off the woodwork to split the points. Matija Lujujic and Amit Zenati gave visiting Bnei Yehuda a 2-0 lead by the halftime break but Marko Jankovic pulled one back at the 90th minute. However, Beitar wasn’t done as Magbo’s heroics earned each squad a point.

Maccabi Petah Tikva and Hapoel Beer Sheva played to a dry goalless draw at the Moshava Stadium as very few chances were created in the Championship Playoff clash that saw each side take a point.

Hapoel Tel Aviv slipped by Maccabi Netanya 1-0 as the Reds took 3-points at the Netanya Stadium to inch closer to remaining in the top league. After Omri Altman’s 28th minute penalty was saved by Raz Carmi, Ben Bitton scored from 18 meters out in the second half to give Nir Klinger’s team the victory. Hapoel will now ready for State Cup quarterfinal play at Hapoel Kfar Shelem on Tuesday.

Hapoel Hadera dropped Hapoel Haifa 3-0 as Maxim Plakuschenko scored a brace to pace the hosts to the win and the 3-points. Plakuschenko broke the deadlock just before the break with a brilliant free kick for a 1-0 lead whole Odah Marshall doubled the advantage in the 56th minute. After Haifa’s Eden Ben Bassat was sent off with a straight red card for a reckless foul, Plakuschenko added his second goal of the game as he jumped on a poor clearance to give coach Menachem Koretzky the victory.

Bnei Sakhnin walloped Hapoel Kfar Saba 3-0 as Osama Khalaila scored a brace in the win for Sharon Mimer’s squad. Beram Kayal and Ismaeel Ryan teamed up to get the ball to Khalaila in the first half as the up and coming striker scored to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Ataa Jabar gave Sakhnin a 2-0 advantage in the 53rd minute while the aforementioned Jabar sent the ball into the box thirty minutes later and Khalaila directed it behind Itamar Nitzan to seal the 3-points. Sakhnin will face Beitar Tel Aviv/Bat Yam in State Cup play on Wednesday.

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