Finally! Week 3 has gotten under way after what had seemed to be a long, long, long break between the National team matches and then the Yom Kippur holiday it felt like an eternity for the Ligat Ha’Al to get back underway! With the Marquee match Monday night between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa there were plenty of other games including a terrific win by Bnei Sakhnin and a painful loss by Beitar Jerusalem!
Beitar Jerusalem 0-1 Hapoel Haifa
After the lenghty break and new player signings, Beitar Jerusalem faithful thought that the match vs Hapoel Haifa would be a chance to break out the champagne bottles on the holiday of Sukkot. But it was not to be as the “home” side playing in the Moshava stadium in Petach Tikva were out hustled and out classed against former teammate Dario Fenandez in his homecoming.
Fernandez left over the summer after his and Beitar coach Eli Cohen’s inability to co-exist. Fernandez loved by some and hated by others was a core player in the Beitar midfield and defense and his will helped his new club Hapoel Haifa beat Beitar at their own game on a goal by Tadas Kinjanskas.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-1 Maccabi Petach Tikva
Hapoel Tel Aviv got the monkey off their backs with a win but only after Maccabi Petach Tikva were reduced to 10 men by referee Liran Liani on a questionable call late in the first half. Itay Schecter finally scored on his comeback with Hapoel and youngster Sean Malca made his senior team debut for the Reds. Dani Amos still looked shaky in goal giving up a mark on MPT’s first shot on goal in the game. Roi Gordana also added a strike for Tel Aviv as the faithful at Bloomfield stadium cheered their heroes on this beautiful evening.
Bnei Yehuda 2-4 Bnei Sakhnin
Bnei Yehuda seems to missing something and that is Pedro Galvan who now plies his trade with Maccabi Petach Tikva. The visitors Bnei Sakhnin were the better side as up coming star Mohamed Kalibat picked up another goal and Ravid Gezel, Ahmed Kasoum and Hemed Genaim also scored. Bnei Yehuda received goals from Amir Egeiv who was on the receiving end of an Yitzik Azuz pass and Or Baruch, but it was the second yellow card by Rafi Dahan in the 70th minute that sealed Bnei Yehuda’s fate.
Hapoel Ramat HaSharon 1-3 Hapoel Raanana
Hapoel Raanana picked up 3 more points as they defeated last year’s Cinderella story Ramat HaSharon at Grundman Stadium in front of 400 fans. Tamar Cohen starred for the newcomers with one goal but was all over the pitch as he hasn’t looked this good since coming back from England! Asi Baldot also took care of his former club with a goal & an assist as Rananna gets ready for their next game v Beitar Jerusalem. Ramat HaSharon manager Rafi Cohen has been removed from duties after his third straight loss.
Kiryat Shemona 1-0 Ashdod
Ofir Mizrahi scored for Kiryat Shemona in the 2nd minute and that was it for the rest of the match as the home side won in front of only 800 fans in the North. Ashdod did not provide much excitement on the field but off of it, coach Nir Klinger had a run in with referee Shai Shitrit which will lead to disciplinary action.