Maccabi Petah Tikva stunned the defending league champions Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-1 at Bloomfield Stadium. Guy Luzon’s youngsters fended off wave after wave of first half attacks by the yellow-and-blue and scored a pair of second half goals to take the 3-points. Yinon Eliyahu was left all alone in the box and beat Maccabi keeper Daniel Tenenbaum cleanly to give Petah Tikva a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute. Itay Shechter scored a header off a Yonatan Cohen free kick just outside the box to draw Giorgos Donis’s squad even in the 83rd minute, but just three minutes later Liel Abada took a perfect through ball and put it into the goal to snatch the surprising win and the points.
Hapoel Beer Sheva held off Maccabi Netanya 3-2 at Teddy Stadium as the southern squad took the 3-points. Josue continued his hot streak for Yossi Abuksis’s side after helping the team last week advance to the second round of the Europa League, as the Portuguese sensation opened the scoring in league play with a penalty strike in the 37th minute thanks to a handball in the box. The hosts added to their lead in the 59th minute when Itamar Shviro put the ball past Dani Amos for a 2-0 advantage. Netanya’s Hen Ezra found a busy Gaby Kanichowski just outside of the area to cut the lead seven minutes later, but the lead was short lived as Sintayehu Sallalich scored to give Beer Sheva a two goal lead once again. The match continued with end to end action and Ron Ashkenazi pulled Raymond Atteveld’s Netanya to just a one goal deficit but it was too little too late as Abuksis’s reds began the season with a victory.
Beitar Jerusalem squeaked by Hapoel Haifa 1-0 as Shay Konstantin headed in the late winner off a Uri Magbo cross. The yellow-and-black entered the game with interim coach Yossi Mizrachi on the sidelines as the club crashed out of Europe, falling to Teuta in Albania 2-0 last week after coach Roni Levy was relieved of his duties and Sports Director Yossi Benayoun resigned. However, the capital city side was able to keep a clean sheet and pick up the 3-points thanks to Konstantin’s goal just after a Haifa strike was was erased due to an offside call.
Maccabi Haifa slipped Hapoel Hadera 2-1 as Nikita Rukavytsya, last season’s goal scoring leader bagged a first half brace for the Greens at the Netanya Stadium. Rukavytsya took a terrific through ball from Yuval Ashkenazi to give Barak Bachar’s team the lead in the 7th minute and added his second twenty minutes later but was injured on the play forcing him to come out of the game. Hadera’s Odah Marshall cur the lead before the end of the first half but that’s as close as Sharon Mimer’s side would get as Haifa took the points.
Hapoel Kfar Saba shocked Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-1 at the Moshava Stadium as the Greens opened the new season with a win. Luwagga Kizito was pulled down in the box by Raz Shlomo as a Omer Fadida scored a penalty to give Alon Turgeman’s Kfar Saba a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. However, Omri Altman drew Nir Klinger’s Reds even with a scorching free kick from right outside of the box. But an active Kizito moved gracefully into the box and beat keeper Ernestas Setkus as the hosts took the points.
Bnei Yehuda blanked Bnei Sakhnin 3-0 at Doha Stadium in what was a cruel return to the Premier League for the Galilee side. Dor Jan opened the scoring for Elisha Levy’s squad when he scored on a counter attack in the 22nd minute. Shay Mazor doubled the advantage when he headed home a Roie Ben Shimon ball in the 53rd minute to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Amit Zenati wrapped up the victory when he beat Rami Hamadeh for the third goal of the game in the 70th minute to give Bnei Yehuda the 3 points.
Kiryat Shemona defeated Ashdod 2-0 in the port city thanks to a pair of second half goals. Eugene Ansah broke the ice in the 68th minute as he put the ball past Roie Mishpati for a 1-0 lead while Lucio scored the insurance goal during injury time to hand Kobi Refuah’s northern squad the win.