Ran Ben-Shimon may be coaching Beitar Jerusalem for the last time tonight should it drop to another defeat at Maccabi Haifa..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Tel Aviv gave itself some breathing room with a 1-0 win at Bnei Yehuda on Sunday night, moving four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
Hapoel entered the match on the back of a four-match winless streak, but Hen Ezra’s 47th-minute goal was all it needed to pick up three important points.
Bnei Yehuda remained in the relegation zone with 10 points, but is just five points back of Beitar Jerusalem in sixth place.
Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Ra’anana had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the bottom two, but picked up only one point each after drawing 1-1 at Doha Stadium on Sunday.
Ido Levy gave Ra’anana the lead in the 55th minute, but Sakhnin snatched a point deep into stoppage time through an Abraham Paz penalty after Levy handled the ball in the box.
Sakhnin is level with Beitar on 15 points, while Ra’anana is one point back.
On Monday, Maccabi Haifa can climb up to second place with a win over Beitar Jerusalem. The Greens have picked up 13 of a possible 15 points at Haifa Stadium, winning four matches and drawing one by a combined goal difference of 10-1. Their struggles away from home, winning just one of six matches, are however, preventing them from becoming a serious title contender.
Nevertheless, Haifa can move within eight points of runaway leader Hapoel Beersheba with another home victory on Monday.
Beitar coach Ran Ben-Shimon enters Monday’s match with his job on the line. Jerusalem has won only one of its past five matches, and three games in all this season. However, a victory on Monday will move Beitar up to fifth place, just three points back of second.
“This is a big test for us,” said Haifa coach Rene Meulensteen. “But we enjoy these type of matches as they show us where we stand.”