Beitar Jerusalem moved to within 4 points of 3rd place Kiryat Shemona and also moved ahead of 5th place Maccabi Petach Tikva by the same amount of points with a 2-1 away win at Kiryat Shemona. Romanian winger Liviu Antal scored a 1st half brace as Roie Kehat brought one back late in the game but it was not enough to help Kiryat Shemona stop their skid.
New kits and some what of a new name for Ashdod didn’t help them as they were pounded by Raanana at the Netanya Stadium 4-0. Ashdod who haven’t won in 9 matches added the word Hapoel to their name but that didn’t seem to help coach Nor Klonger and Israel national team keeper Ofir Marchiano for collecting the ball out of the back of the goal. Tony Nwakaeme was involved in the first three goals, scoring two and assisting on Evans Kangwa’s as Shoval Gozlan added the 4th the rout in front of less than 1000 fans.
The Reds figured out how to win and collected three valuable points attempting to ensure the best finish as possible in the lower playoffs. Dudu Biton & Shlomi Azoulay provided the first half offense as coach Eli Cohen was able to withstand a much improved Akko side over the past few weeks. Shlomi Dura couldn’t find the solution to substitute keeper Tom Almondon as Akko chances to stay up and avoid relegation took a big hit with the loss at Bloomfield Stadium.
Maor Bozaglo finally found his scoring touch as he picked up a brace for the southern side moving closer to Maccabi Tel Aviv for the time being. A rough first half littered the Wassermil pitch in Beer Sheva with a number of yellow cards and two red cards handed out one to each side. Ben Biton was sent off for the hosts for a reckless tackle and Tomer Elbaz hand ball for Maccabi Petach Tikva ended his night early. Dovev Gabbay opened the scoring on a penalty kick while Itamar Nitzan’s crucial clearing error put th ball on the foot of Bozaglo who slotted it home for the 2-0 lead. A terrific pass by Roy Gordana to Bozaglo gave the free kick specialist his first goals since December 2014!
Bnei Sakhnin picked up the win at Doha Stadium as Eli Cohen’s side moved further away from the relegation zone as the lower playoffs opened up. Muhamed Calibat lofted a corner kick that Yitzik Cohen headed in for the only goal of the match and sent Tal Benin and Hapoel Haifa to a critical loss with only 6 more matches remain in the season.
Netanya players may be going on strike after this win in order to get their salaries, but they certainly put in an excellent effort to dispose of Hapoel Petach Tikva. Or Baruch opened the scoring in the first half and Diaa Sabia doubled the score early in the 2nd half. Romanian Gabriel Giurgiu picked up his 1st goal of the season as Omri Altman scored from the penalty spot to ruin Ariel Harush’s shutout bid.