Maccabi Tel Aviv & Hapoel Beer Sheva still remain neck & neck in the standings, but wins by Maccabi Haifa & Hapoel Tel Aviv help keep them in contention for a European position.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-1 Beitar Jerusalem
Hapoel Tel Aviv is the hottest team in the league winning convincingly against Beitar Jerusalem at “home” at the Netanya Stadium. The match wasn’t played at Bloomfield due to a radius punishment but it didn’t make a difference as The Red Machine just kept rolling on. Summer signing Besart Abdurahimi scored a terrific goal to open the scoring showing his club that he was worth the wait due to being out for an extended period of time because of injury.
Omer Damari slotted home the second goal on a penalty kick while Itay Schecter scored a fantastic goal for Hapoel’s third of the night. Bryan Jones pulled one back for Beitar but they looked as if they were a minor league club playing against a well oiled machine.
News swirled around the Tel Aviv club about last night being Omer Damari’s last match with the club before heading out to Europe. Celtic & Celta Vigo seem to be the likeliest stops for Israel’s leading scorer as he said to his teammates after the match that this was probably his swan song with Hapoel.
Hapoel Ramat HaSharon 0-3 Maccabi Tel Aviv
The defending champions put up an easy three spot in one of their most dominating matches all seasons winning away in Grundman Stadium 3-0. Ramat HaSharon was totally dominate and over matched in this game of David & Goliath where Goliath had no troubles at all squashing their opponent. Maharan Radi opened the scoring while Carlos Garcia scored his first as a Maccabi player and Dor Micha rounded out the rout helping their side maintain first place in the Ligat Ha’Al table.
Kiryat Shemona 0-1 Hapoel Beer Sheva
Beer Sheva accomplished something Maccabi Tel Aviv didn’t do thus far this season, which was winning in Israel’s Northern capital of Kiryat Shemona. The visitors kept pace with Maccabi by scoring from yet another dead ball opportunity as Maor Bozaglo lofted a free kick into the box where the unstoppable Dovev Gabbay scored in the 8thn minute. Glynor Plet had a wonderful chance from a Elyaniv Barda ball but couldn’t find the back of the net from 3 meters out!
Bnei Yehuda 2-2 Hapoel Haifa
Bnei Yehuda looked like they were going to take the 3 points convincingly at home against the visiting Haifa club, but that was unfortunately not to be the case. Englishman James Keene opened the scoring in the 4th minute to put Bnei Yehuda in the lead and Liroy Tzeiri made it 2-0 just before halftime. However, Ma’aran Lala scored a brace in the final quarter hour of the game to earn a point on the road and send the Bnei Yehuda faithful home shaking their heads wondering what had happened to their team once again.
Maccabi Haifa 1-0 Maccabi Petach Tikva
Arik Benado’s side picked up the win at home defeating Maccabi Petach Tikva by a slim 1-0 margin. Idan Vered provided the offense with the match’s lone goal in the 9th minute as chances after that were sparse to come by.
Ashdod 0-0 Bnei Sakhnin
In a scoreless affair the two clubs split the points at the stadium in Ashdod. For Nir Klinger’s squad, star player David Solari was injured and needed to be taken off in the 57th minute while Christian Gonzalez Hidalgo had to come off for Sakhnin and was replaced by Jorge Alonso who made his debut.
Hapoel Akko 0-0 Hapoel Raanana
In a very dull and dry affair in Akko, each team walked away with a point after not producing many chances. The first half chance saw a wonderful free kick by Guy Dayan that went off the goal to Gal Nir’s luck and in the 2nd half Anthony Nwakaeme’s 18 meter out chance went off the post.