Maccabi Tel Aviv retained its place atop the Premier League standings in scintillating fashion on Saturday night,
coming back from 1-3 down in the second half to beat Hapoel Ramat Hasharon
Maccabi seemed to be heading towards its third straight defeat after
falling 2-0 behind in the 39th minute. Ramat Hasharon reestablished its two-goal
cushion four minutes into the second half after the yellow-and-blue pulled a
goal back on the brink of halftime.
However, Maccabi showed the character
of a champion by scoring three times in 17 minutes, with Roberto Colautti’s goal
in the 79th minute clinching the win.
“It is a very good game for the
fans but not for the coaches,” said relieved Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia. “We
played in the second half the way I like my team to play. I think the first 30
minutes were the worse I have seen from my team.”
Maccabi’s lax defending
allowed Ran Itzhak to give the hosts the lead in the eighth minute and a rare
mistake by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama gifted Ramat Hasharon’s Asi Baldut the
second goal of the night.
Munas Dabbur got Tel Aviv back into the match
with a header in the 45th minute, but the visitors found themselves two goals
down once more after Itzhak found the back of the net yet again four minutes
into the second half.
But Maccabi fought on.
Gonzalo Garcia made
it 3-2 in the 63rd minute and Eliran Atar equalized with his 10th goal in 11
matches 12 minutes later before Colautti secured all three points.
SC was in first place for a couple of hours after beating Hapoel Ramat Gan 1-0
Israel Rosh scored the winner in the 35th minute and
Ashdod can still climb into first should it win its game in hand against Hapoel
Acre, which was postponed last week due to the rocket fire from
Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa remained in last position after only
managing a 0- 0 draw against Hapoel Acre, while the match between Bnei Sakhnin
and Maccabi Netanya also ended in a goalless deadlock.
missed a penalty for Haifa in the 30th minute.
“I will fight until the
last moment,” said Haifa coach Nir Klinger. “I began my career as a winner and I
will end it as a winner.”
Bnei Yehuda welcomes Ironi Kiryat Shmona on
On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Hapoel Beersheba, while the
surging Betar Jerusalem faces the sorry Maccabi Hafia, which is set to be guided
by youth team coach Arik Benado for a second straight match following the
sacking of Reuven Atar.
Roni Steinbach contributed to this report.