Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0 Beitar Jerusalem
Even on a night where Maccabi Tel Aviv were not their best and were throughly dominated in the second half by visiting Beitar Jerusalem, they still found a way to win and keep a four point cushion over 2nd place Hapoel Beer Sheva. With both ‘keepers, Juan Pablo for Maccabi & Ariel Harush for Beitar making terrific saves at both ends and chances being at a premium, Roni Levy had his Beitar club playing excellent defense and handling the ball very well to suffocate the Maccabi offense. But it was Dor Micha in the 74th minute who lofted a ball into the Beitar box that Andres Tunez wasn’t able to handle to knock away and gave Rada Prica the game winning strike and help his club collect yet another 3-points on a night that Maccabi was not at it’s best.
Maccabi Haifa 2-2 Bnei Yehuda
Bnei Yehuda knows best how to blow games in the final minutes and they showed why they are at the bottom of the table by doing it yet again. Gal Cohen’s own goal in the 96th minute have 10 man Haifa a point at home against Yossi Abuksis and his squad. Bnei Yehuda came out of the gates and took a shock 2-0 lead on goals by Oz Rali who sliced in a beautiful free kick and Ohad Kadosi. Haifa then got to within one on substitute Shoval Gozlan’s strike before all hell broke loose. Ruben Rayos was sent off with a red card for a brutal tackle on Rafi Dahan that broke his leg and will keep him out of action for almost 9 months. But even with a man sent off the Haifa pressure finally got to the visitors and a scramble in front of the net resulted in Gal Cohen’s own goal and gave the clubs a split of the points.
Hapoel Beer Sheva 1-0 Hapoel Haifa
Beer Sheva moved to within one point of Maccabi Tel Aviv with a slim 1-0 win at home over Hapoel Haifa and ending Haifa’s slim chances of reaching the upper playoffs. The home side had problems with its offense against a game Haifa squad, however it was an own goal by defender Danilo Nikolic that helped HBS pick up the valuable 3-points.
Maccabi Petach Tikva 3-3 Hapoel Ramat HaSharon
Plenty of goals at the Moshava stadium as the sides split the points in a fun match played in front of 2000 fans. 3 goals littered the first ten minutes of play as Petach Tikva jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Naor Peser on his 1st of the year & Lidor Cohen but Ramat HaSharon pulled to within one by a nice strike by Ben Reichet. Kenny Seif who assisted on RHS first goal evened the score in minute 27 but Lidor Cohen put the home side the 3-2 lead early in the 2nd half. But the last word was given to Yosef Abu Laben who repeated his performance from last week and slotted home an 88th minute tying goal to give his squad another point.
Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 Hapoel Raanana
Bnei Sakhnin secured their spot in the upper playoffs on early goals by Muhamed Calibat and Muhamed Ghadir and sent Raanana to yet another loss. The win gave coach Marko Balbul a spot with Ligat Ha’Al heavy weights, Maccabi Tel Aviv & Hapoel Beer Sheva as one of the top 6 teams as we head into the stretch run.
Ashdod 4-5 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Yes, you read the score line correctly. 9 goals! Incredible match in Ashdod which produced plenty of goals and hilights giving Hapoel Tel Aviv a place in the upper playoffs. The first half saw the clubs end tied at on on goals by Guy Tzafati for the home side and a header from Israel Zaguri to send the clubs all knotted up after 45 minutes. Then the flood gates opened with 7 goals in the final frame as both sides tried valiantly to pick up the win. Mickie Siroskin and Gili Vermut traded goals to begin half #2 followed by Yero Bello and Omer Damari strikes in minutes 64 & 66 respectively to keep the game even at three with 24 minutes to go. Saleem Tuama then gave the Reds their 4th goal quickly followed by Damari’s second of the night and 19th of the season. Yero Bello brought the home team to within one goal on a penalty but it was too little too late in this wild match!
Hapoel Kiryat Shemona 2-0 Hapoel Akko
Kiryat Shemona improved it’s chances of getting a European berth by winning 2-0 at home. Two 2nd half goals by new recruit Weam Amasha and Mindaugus Panka gave HKS the three points and the win over a tough Akko team.