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Photo by: Asaf Kliger
Benado’s Mac Haifa finally loses a game
By ALLON SINAI
04/02/2013
Hapoel Tel Aviv looks set to complete the signing of Almog Cohen on a loan-deal until the end of the season.
 
After 11 unbeaten matches and nine wins over the past 10 games, Arik Benado suffered his first defeat as Maccabi Haifa coach on Sunday night.

Benado lifted Haifa from the relegation zone up to second place over recent months, but the Greens dropped to a frustrating 2-0 defeat to Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield Stadium on Sunday to remain eight points back of league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Haifa dominated the hosts at the start of the match, with Weeam Amasha squandering two tantalizing scoring opportunities within the first five minutes.

Bnei Yehuda was content on sitting back and soaking up the pressure and it also rode its luck before taking the lead in the 20th minute.

Pedro Galvan expertly curled the ball into the bottom left corner with a free-kick from 25 meters out, leaving Haifa keeper Bojan Saranov with no real chance.

Haifa captain Yaniv Katan hit the crossbar with a free-kick in the 33rd minute and a sensational performance by Bnei Yehuda ‘keeper Dele Aiyenugba kept the Greens at bay before Ness Zamir clinched the three points for the hosts with an 85thminute goal.

“I would like to congratulate Bnei Yehuda on the win, but we outplayed them in every facet of the game,” said Benado. “We played well, but sometimes this is just the way it is in soccer.

This was just one of those days when the ball refused to go in.”

Betar Jerusalem, meanwhile, fell to its second straight league loss on Sunday, dropping to sixth place in the table following a 1-0 defeat at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, which climbed up to fourth position.

Efraim Taka scored the winner in the 84th minute and Betar lost by a 1- 0 score-line for a second consecutive time after falling at the hands of Bnei Yehuda last week.

“This is a painful loss for us because we were in control for much of the match,” said Betar coach Eli Cohen, who was bombarded by swears from a group of Betar fans throughout the match following the signings of Chechen Muslims Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev.

“We reached three chances from which we usually score, but everything that is surrounding the club affected us. We haven’t dropped in form in recent weeks, but our concentration has suffered because of all that has happened. However, we will overcome this just like we overcame storms in the past.”

Meanwhile, Hapoel Tel Aviv looks set to complete the signing of Almog Cohen on a loan-deal until the end of the season on Monday.

The 24-year-old Israel international made just nine appearances for Nuremberg in the German Bundesliga this season and is hoping to join Hapoel in the hope of seeing more playing time.

The Reds will also be desperate to complete the deal with the midfielder ahead of next week’s derby versus Maccabi Tel Aviv, with Hapoel’s squad currently ravaged by injuries.
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