Late Damari winner saves Hapoel Tel Aviv
By ALLON SINAI
Hapoel beats Ramat Hasharon 1-0 to close on Maccabi TA; Betar edges Acre 3-2.
An 88th-minute goal by Omer Damari breathed much-needed life into Hapoel Tel
Aviv’s Premier League title challenge on Saturday, snapping a four-game winless
streak by giving the team a 1-0 victory over Hapoel Ramat Hasharon at a drenched
Tel Aviv was anything but impressive yet again, but
it finally got back to winning ways and closed to within a single point of
league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv thanks to Damari’s ninth league goal of the
“We controlled the possession, but didn’t create many chances,”
said Hapoel’s relieved coach Yossi Abuksis.
“I hope that we can kick on
from here. We have had better games this season in which we didn’t pick
up points so maybe this result balances it out.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv can
reestablish a four-point gap when it visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona on
Betar Jerusalem also picked up all three points for the first
time in five matches on Saturday, beating Hapoel Acre 3-2 on the
Haim Megrelashvili gave Betar the lead in the sixth minute, but
Acre equalized just three minutes later courtesy of a clinical Nebojsa
A superb strike by Hen Azriel from the edge of the box
put Jerusalem back in front in the 19th minute, but Moshe Mishaelof’s header
(62) brought Acre back to level terms, only for Ofir Kriaf to score the winner
for Betar in the 73rd minute.
“These are three priceless points,” said
delighted Betar coach Eli Cohen after seeing his team climb up to fifth place in
Hapoel Haifa finally claimed its second victory of the
season on Saturday, beating Bnei Yehuda 2-1 at Kiryat Eliezer
Vladimir Gluscevic’s opener (2) for the hosts was canceled out
by Pedro Galvan’s penalty (24), but Yuval Avidor gave Haifa all three points in
the 74th minute to the delight of under-fire coach Nir Klinger.
is to prove to everyone that they are wrong,” said Klinger, whose team remained
rock-bottom despite the win.
While Haifa snapped a seven-game winless
streak, Maccabi Netanya won for the first time in nine encounters on Saturday,
beating Hapoel Beersheba 3-1 on the road.
Lotem Zino gave Beersheba the
lead in the 58th minute, scoring from the rebound of Tomer Swisa’s missed
penalty, but Dragan Ceran (68), Ali Khatib (82) and Ahmed Saba (90) completed
the comeback for Netnaya.
Hapoel Ramat Gan ensured that three of the
bottom four sides won on Saturday, beating Bnei Sakhnin 2-1 at National Stadium
in Ramat Gan.
Shimon Harush scored the opener for Sakhnin after just four
minutes, only for Yero Bello to equalize with an own goal before Bernard Onanga
netted a precious winner seven minutes from time.
On Sunday, Maccabi
Haifa, which has won five of six matches, visits thirdplaced Ashdod SC.