Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Jerusalem 2-1 to take the points and stay atop the table for yet another round of play. Jelle Duin took a Don Cedrick ball and headed it home in the 13th minute to give the capital city reds a 1-0 lead. Dor Turgeman polished off a nice passing play to draw Robbie Keane’s side even in the 30th minute and then went ahead five minutes into the second half via Gaby Kanichowsky from outside the box to give the yellow-and-blue the lead for good.
“We needed to be more organized and focused from the start,” Maccabi coach Robbie Keane said. “We weren’t and we conceded a goal, we were punished. Mistakes cost us and we need to score more from our opportunities. I am happy about the win but not from the performance.”
“We made childish and naïve mistakes which seems to always happen to us against big clubs,” Hapoel coach Ziv Arie explained. “Then we just totally fell apart. Despite that we did have some good minutes, but I am not happy as to how we played and he result.”
Hapoel Haifa beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-3 in a barnburner of a matchup as the Carmel Reds took the 3-points and the win. Mohammed Kamara opened the scoring for Haifa as he blazed down the left flank and put the ball behind a helpless Emilijus Zubas to take a 1-0. Liran Sardel doubled the advantage in the 14th minute while Tomer Yosefi scored less than ten minutes later and Guy Melamed added his own strike just ahead of halftime to go up 4-0 against Salem Touma’s Hapoel Tel Aviv. Alen Ozbolt pulled a goal back in the 53rd minute as an own goal five minutes later cut the lead to 4-2. Bryan Passi then scored in injury time to make the score 4-3 and a chance to draw even but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We had a terrific first half,” Haifa coach Roni Levi began. “However, we didn’t show up for the second half of the game. It was a crazy game and there are some of these types of matches where every play ends in a goal. But most importantly we won the game.”
“Unfortunately we only came to play in the second half,” Hapoel interim coach Saleem Tuama said. “My goal before the game was to defend and not give up any goals but it seems everyone was still in the hotel in the first half. Once you concede four goals it’s very hard to come back into the game.”
Hapoel Beer Sheva dropped Maccabi Haifa 2-1 as the southerners collected the 3-points over the reining champions. Frantzdy Pierrot was issued a yellow card and them clapped hands at teh referee earning him a red card to reduce the Greens to 10-men in the 22nd minute. Antonio Sefer took advantage of the extra man and found the back of the goal in the 50th minute for a 1-0 Hapoel Beer Sheva lead. Helder Lopes doubled the lead as he headed the ball into the back of the goal while Tomer Hemed scored yet another goal to pull a marker back in the 88th minute but that would be all from Messay Degas team on this night as they fell to Beer Sheva.
“We aren’t looking at getting back into the race or not,” Beer Sheva coach Elyaniv Barda said. “We lost a lot of points in the first round of games and we want to correct that. We can get even more out of this team and I believe that we could have been leading this game in the first half but went into the break goalless. However, I am happy that we took the points.”
“It’s very disappointing,” Haifa coach Messay Dego commented. “We came into the game with the right attitude but we just didn’t start the game off well and Beer Sheva controlled the pace of play. The red card made it very hard for us and I was upset at Pierrot for that.”
Maccabi Petach Tikva downed Hapoel Hadera 1-0 as Obeida Khattab nodded home the long goal of the match just ahead of halftime.