Week number 2 came to an end with two fabulous matches where Maccabi Haifa suffered a shock defeat to Ashdod and Maccabi Tel Aviv finally cracked the Bnei Yehuda defense! We also saw Beitar Jerusalem defeating Maccabi Petach Tikva and Hapoel Tel Aviv still in struggle mode. Raanana remains undefeated and Beer Sheva is the king of the south! With two more games to go tonight the second week hopefully will end with a blast!
Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0 Bnei Yehuda
Maccabi Tel Aviv came out with all guns blazing Sunday night in the “Little Tel Aviv Derby” against Bnei Yehuda but could not find a way past visiting goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba until the 91st minute of the match into injury time on a perfectly placed pass by Dor Micha to an oncoming header by Rada Prica to score the winning goal! For long periods of time it was if Maccabi was the only squad on the pitch with the visitors providing very little offense and even fewer chances. But every time Maccabi went forwrad they were foiled by Dror Kashtan’s defense or another superb stop by Aiyenugba who hands down was the man of the match.
Maccabi arguably played their best game of the year and manager Paulo Sousa gave credit to his charges for their continuous pressure and play. Dor Micha came off the bench in minute 62 for Tal Ben Haim and made all the difference for the champion creating plays and of course coming through in the dying minutes. One has to question whether Sousa should be starting young Micha, but so far the ability to have him come of the bench has proven valuable.
Eitan Tibi was able to stifle any Bnei Yehuda attempt at the Maccabi goal and Juan Pablo Colinas cleaned up any balls that came his way. Rada Prica finally scored a goal after quite sometime and that left him and all the supporters leaving the stadium with a big smile on their faces!
Ashdod 2-3 Maccabi Haifa
In an amazing turnaround of events, Ashdod stunned Maccabi Haifa with two second half goals one by Yeru Belu & the other by Roie Bekel to steal a victory out of nowhere. Haifa took a quick lead on a first minute fantastic Hen Ezra mark, similar to the one last week against Kiryat Shemona, but youngster Gadi Kinda gave life back to Ashdod by tying up the game in the 13th minute. Dino Ndlovu scored a 40th minute strike to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in the 40th minute and Haifa thought they would cruise to another victory. However, Nir Klinger had different plans as the aforementioned Kinda starred in bringing the home side the 3 points.
Maccabi Petach Tikva 1-3 Beitar Jerusalem
After one minute of play everyone thought that Beitar was in for another disaster of a match as Omer Golan punched in a goal less than a minute into the game. However, the Jerusalem squad was able to even the score on a 19th minute penalty and Beitar’s new recruit Yitzik Cohen gave them a 2-1 advantage in the 49th minute ona superb pass by Eli Dasa. Ibrahim “Teteh” Bangura came in at the 71st minute and assisted on Tzachi Elichan’s 1st goal of the season in the 88th minute to seal the first 3 points of the year for Beitar.
Hapoel Beer Sheva 2-0 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Beer Sheva picked up another 3 points in front of their home crowd and beat Hapoel Tel Aviv for the first time in nine years with the help of goals by Serge Nassar in the 36th minute and Elyaniv Barda with a 46th minute strike. The Tel Aviv ‘keeper Danny Amos has looked lost in goal and the offense headed by Itay Schecter has been pathetic at best. Hapoel Tel Aviv is in deep trouble.
Kiryat Shemona 4-1 Hapoel Ramat HaSharon
After a scoreless first half, Kiryat Shemona manager Barack Bechar made two crucial substitutions that changed the whole game for the Northern Club that led to 4 straight goals. The subs, Darko Tasevski and Ofir Mizrahi changed the whole face of the match and helped lead K8 to a brace by David Manga, and goals by Dusan Matovic and one by the aforementioned Mizrahi. Kenny Seif broke the shutout in the 89th minute for Ramat HaSharon and denied Guy Haimov a cleansheet.
Bnei Sakhnin 1-0 Hapoel Akko
The hosts, Bnei Sakhnin got a 90th minute penalty goal from upcoming star Muhamed Calibat to snatch the 3 points from a game Hapoel Akko squad who still remain goalless. Moshe Misheelof picked up his second yellow card of the match after he pulled down Calibat in the box to set up the winner in front of 2500 fans.
Hapoel Haifa 1-1 Hapoel Raanana
Haifa & undefeated Raanana split the points at Kiryat Eliezer stadium in Haifa with goals by Nevusa Marinkovic for Haifa & newcomer Antoni Anukama from Nigeria for Raanana. Tamir Cohen assisted on the Anukama strike and the Raanana faithful must be pleasantly surprised by their 4 point start in Ligat Ha’Al.