Sektzia Ness Tziona stunned Hapoel Beer Sheva 2-1 at the Moshava Stadium to win their first game of the season. After a goalless first half, Moussa Maâzou headed home the ball off a Shai Elias cross to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. However, Beer Sheva drew even in the 92nd minute when second half substitute Nigel Hasselbaink slotted the ball behind Omri Glazer which looked to be the tying goal. But just a minute later Amir Turgeman’s squad raced downfield and David Boycen nodded the ball past Ernestas Bartkus to grab the 3 points and the victory.
Maccabi Haifa defeated Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 in a barnburner of a matchup at Sammy Ofer Stadium. The win moved Marko Balbul’s squad into sole possession of second place just three points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv. Beitar Jerusalem grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when midfielder Ali Mohamed weaved his way through the Maccabi Haifa defense and passed the ball to his right where Shlomi Azulay was waiting to send a low liner to the far left hand corner beating keeper Josh Cohen cleanly. The yellow-and-black continued to attack for the balance of the half but couldn’t find the back of the goal as the visitors went into halftime with a one goal advantage. The Greens came out of break on fire and drew even just four minutes into the second half as Ernest Mabouka sent Dolev Haziza a perfect pass that the latter put behind the Beitar shot stopper Itamar Nitzan. Former Beitar striker Nikita Rukavytsya completed the comeback in the 80th minute when he slotted home a terrific team play as Maxim Plakuschenko and Tjaron Chery played a part in the strike to give Haifa a 2-1 lead. Chery then scored a goal of his own as he beat Nitzan from the penalty spot after the referee ruled that there had been a handball in the area by a Beitar player which was confirmed by the VAR (Virtual Assistant Referee) to wrap up a tidy 3-1 victory.
Hapoel Tel Aviv slipped by Kiryat Shemona 1-0 up north as new Reds Head Coach Nir Klinger collected his first victory with the club. Last week, Niso Avitan was relieved of his duties as club management brought on Hapoel Tel Aviv legend Moshe Sinai as Sports Director who in turn hired Klinger to man the sidelines.
The Reds scored the lone goal of the contest in the 15th minute off a Demba Camara penalty after Kiryat Shemona keeper Džiugas Bartkus pulled down Omri Altman in the box to give the visitors the 11 meter spot kick. In the 30th minute, Raz Shlomo yanked down John Ruiz but the Hapoel shot stopper Yoav Gerafi came up big by saving Cillian Sheridan’s penalty as the Reds took home the three points.
Maccabi Tel Aviv continued to roll along with a 2-0 win over Hapoel Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium. Eyal Golasa why recently returned from injury ignited the yellow-and-blue attack as the midfielder was instrumental in setting up both goals in the win. Yonatan Cohen opened the scoring in the 26th minute as the winger took advantage of tremendous play by Golasa to beat the Carmel Reds keeper Jasmin Buric for the 1-0 lead. Dor Micha doubled the advantage in the 54th minute as the midfielder put home a give and go with Golasa to go up 2-0. Ten minutes later Maccabi had a chance to increase their lead by yet another goal but Cohen missed a penalty as Buric made the timely save. Itay Shechter did get the third deep into injury time as he put away an Omer Atzily assist to remain in first place.
Bnei Yehuda dropped Ashdod 2-0 at Bloomfield Stadium as Matija Ljujić and Muhammad Ghadir found the back of the goal for Yossi Abuksis’s side to earn the 3-points.
Maccabi Netanya defeated Hapoel Raanana 1-0 at the Netanya Stadium as Yonas Malede scored the only goal of the contest in the 72nd minute to give struggling Netanya the win.
Hapoel Kfar Saba hosted Hapoel Hadera to a goalless draw at the Moshava Stadium as the sides split the points ahead of the international break.