Maccabi Haifa 0-0 Hapoel Beer Sheva
The Beer Sheva faithful came in large numbers to Haifa, over a 200 KM trek for the desert club, and walked away with 1 point in a 0-0 scoreless draw at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. In front of 12,000 rabid fans a packed stadium led to much drama but no scoring in a match that produced many highlights from long runs, fancy footwork a ton of corner kicks, a penalty and a handball by Dekel Keinan. Both clubs went hunting for an early goal but none was too be had as referee Eli Chachmon issued 7 yellow cards over the course of the match and tried to keep control over a two clubs trying to prove a point.
Beer Sheva looked at the challenge in Haifa as a litmus test to see how they would fare against a top club and away from home as manager Elisha Levy was hoping to walk out of this game with a point. Levy did exactly that, but still had to be disappointed in having Haifa on the ropes for more than half playing a man up after a Dekel Keinan handball in the box to block a sure goal. The ensuing penalty by Elyaniv Barda hit the cross bar and went out, thereby negating the best chance Beer Sheva would have. Levy who was returning to his most recent past job as Haifa’s manager squandered an opportunity to take all three points and leave Haifa a very happy camper by not coming out in the 2nd half with another striker to put pressure on the Green’s defense. He operated the game exactly as he did last week at home against Bnei Yehuda by introducing Glynor Plet, Tomer Suissa & Nikols Falshuk, but he didn;t take two things into account. One, his club was on the road and even though he had a huge away crowd of over 2,000 supporters it’s tougher to win on the road. Two, Levy had to realize that Maccabi Haifa even though struggling this season is a far better club than Bnei Yehuda.
If Levy really, really, really wanted to make a massive statement to the Israel Football world, Maccabi Tel Aviv, his Yakov Schachar and any other doubters, he would have taken this opportunity and gone for the jugular, but went the safe route and just wanted to escape with a point. Unfortunately, this is not going to win championship in Israel or any other country on the planet as sometimes you just have to go for it! Sure the Haifa ‘keeper Sharanov was terrific, but the home side actually looked stronger at times after Keinan’s dismissal.
Benado started the 2nd frame by going for a goal and playing offensive football to see if he could steal 3 points. This was an intelligent game plan as players like Taleb Twatha, Eyal Golasa & Eyal Meshumar pushed forward in search of the Beer Sheva goal. At the 59th minute Benado called the dogs off and inserted a defender in Andriy Pilevski and subbed out Eyal Golasa putting up the white flag to settle for a split in the points.
Haifa so badly needed a win, but on this night playing with only 10 men, he figured better not get caught with 30 minutes to go and take home a hard earned point that may be valuable down the road. And that is what exactly happened.
Ashdod 0-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Maccabi Tel Aviv came back to earth after the Europa League victory in Bordeaux Thursday night as all they could do was pick up a scoreless draw in Ashdod. Manager Paulo Sousa went with a typical “away” lineup with Monus Dabour as the striker with Tal Ben Haim on the wing with a later insertion of Dor Micha, Rada Prica & Barak Yitzhaki into the match in the latter stages of the second half. What worked in Haifa for Tel Aviv didn’t work this night in Ashdod as Maccabi had a difficult time breaking through the Ashdod defense and keeper. Maccavi will take the point as they still remain tied on top of the table with Hapoel Beer Sheva who also managed a 0-0 draw at Maccabi Haifa. Hopefully for Maccabi Tel Aviv supporters this was just a small hiccup on their way to potentially another championship.
Hapoel Ramat HaSharon 2-0 Beitar Jerusalem
Jerusalem in desperate search of 3 points found the right customer in struggling Ramat HaSharon as Beitar outplayed the home side from beginning to end of the match. Jerusalem received goals from Shai Hadad on a set piece free kick from the top left of the box and one from Sintayahu Sollalich just by the right side of the goal putting the ball into the top shelf. The Jerusalem fans sang for 90 minutes straight and couldn’t stop cheering the whole match through. Beitar now stands with 7 points and gives them a bit of breathing room as they prepare to face Hapoel Tel Aviv in two weeks time at Teddy Stadium.
Kiryat Shemona 1-1 Bnei Sakhnin
Visitors Bnei Sakhnin went a man down in the 38th minute as Khaled Halayla received his second yellow card of the match but they took a shock lead in the 58th minute by a Muhamed Kalibat goal. However, the win was not to be as David Manga tied up the game with a goal of his own in the 69th minute. Bnei Sakhnin maintains it’s unbeaten streak from the beginning of the season.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 0-0 Hapoel Raanana
When will the newcomers to the Ligat Ha’Al falter? That must be the question the whole league is asking and especially Ran Ben Shimon manager of Hapoel Tel Aviv. The Reds coach had sharp works for his counterpart saying that the game was like adults playing children and that it’s not fun playing against a team in a bunker. But they just couldn’t break through to pick up the three points. In response Menahem Koretzki Raanana manager said that he’s sorry that Ben Shimon says it was a game between adults and children because then Ben Shimon’s club should have won with their 60 million NIS budget and he should check out his club to see why they couldn’t win. Koretzki continued saying that he’s sorry he didn’t have his club play wide open and nice football but he wasn’t interested in losing the game.
Bnei Yehuda 2-4 Maccabi Petach Tikva
Pedro Galvan came back to haunt his former team as he opens up the scoring for Petach Tikva in a big 4-2 away win at busy Bloomfield Stadium. Roey Dayan, Emanuel Ogude & Diaa Sabia scores on a penalty round out the Petach Tikva goal scorers as Or Baruch and Gil Yitzhak score for Bnei Yehuda who continue to struggle.
Hapoel Akko 2-1 Hapoel Haifa
Akko picked up three points on a brace by Steven Cohen at home in front of 2500 supporters and Zarko Korac broke Dudu Gorsh’s shutout in the 89th minute but couldn’t find the equalizer as Haifa headed home empty handed.