Beitar Jerusalem all but secured its place in the championship playoffs while handing Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Premier League title hopes a blow on Monday night, claiming a 1-0 victory at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa.
Omer Atzili scored the only goal of the match in the 44th minute, smashing the ball in from the edge of the box after Itzik Cohen stole it from Maccabi goalkeeper Juan Pablo.
Beitar, which hosted the match in Haifa after being punished by the Israel Football Association for the unruly and racist behavior of its fans, registered its fourth win in six matches, climbing up to fourth place ahead of its final game of the regular season against Hapoel Ra’anana next week.
“We didn’t back down and we played Maccabi as equals,” said Beitar coach Guy Levy. “We still have plenty of room for improvement and we need to continue and work hard on the training field. We have a lot of young players and we need to make sure they don’t get carried away.”