Ashdod makes it 5-for-5 by crushing Netanya
Mac Haifa still without a win after 0-0 at Acre; Betar squanders late leads, draws Hap RG.
HAPOEL TEL AVIV Photo: Adi Avishai
Ashdod SC extended its Premier League winning streak to five matches on
Saturday, while Maccabi Haifa remained winless after drawing 0-0 at Hapoel
Until this season, Ashdod had never even won its first three games
to start a campaign, but it moved to the top of the standings for at least 48
hours on Saturday with a convincing 3-0 home win over Maccabi
Murad Abu Anza scored his second brace of the season (58, 69)
and also provided the assist for Dimitar Makriev’s 66th-minute
Ashdod will face its toughest test of the season so far next
Saturday when it visits Maccabi Tel Aviv, which can return to first place with a
win at Hapoel Beersheba on Monday.
Maccabi Haifa’s title aspirations are
as good as over with the season just one month old after the Greens could only
manage a goalless deadlock at Acre.
Haifa has picked up just two points
from a possible 15, marking its worst ever start to a season, and coach Reuven
Atar was lost for words after a bitterly disappointing performance in
“This is a horrible feeling,” said a distraught Atar. “I can only
The lack of confidence is visible on the players and there’s
not much else to say. I’m just sorry.”
Yossi Abuksis’s tenure at Hapoel
Tel Aviv got off to a winning start on Saturday, but he was far from pleased
with his team’s display in its 1-0 victory over Bnei Sakhnin at Bloomfield
Omer Damari scored the only goal of the match from the penalty
spot in the 19th minute after a dubious call by referee Liran
Liani got it wrong again in the 52nd minute, sending off Hapoel
midfielder Elroei Cohen, showing him a second yellow card for
Sakhnin controlled the match after that, but couldn’t find the
equalizer and remained bottom of the table.
“This was a very poor
performance,” said Abuksis, who replaced the ailing Nitzan Shirazi on Friday.
“We have plenty of work to do, but it is best to do it after a win. We dedicate
this win to Nitzan.”
Betar Jerusalem is still searching for its first
victory of the season after Hapoel Ramat Gan twice came back from behind to draw
2-2 at National Stadium in Ramat Gan.
Amit Ben-Shushan scored the opener
for Betar in the seventh minute, but the hosts dominated the remainder of the
first half and were unlucky to be trailing at the break.
scored a deserved equalizer for Ramat Gan in the 74th minute, but just a minute
later Eran Levy put Betar back in front.
However, Israel Zaguri scored
with a cool finish in front of goal in the 88th minute to give Ramat Gan a
wellearned point and deny Betar a win it desperately needed.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona continued to flounder on Saturday, drawing 1-1 at Hapoel
The fit-again Bryan Gerzicich gave Kiryat Shmona the lead with a
header in the 43rd minute, but Maharan Lala tucked the equalizer into an open
net 10 minutes from time after a defensive blunder by Salah Hasarma.
89th-minute own goal by Yaniv Lavi handed Bnei Yehuda a 2-2 draw against Hapoel
Ramat Hasharon at Bloomfield.
Orr Barouch gave Bnei Yehuda the lead in
the 23rd minute with his first goal for the club, but Lavi (44) and Or Ostvind
(75) turned the match on its head to stun the local fans.
turned the ball into his own net one minute from time to ensure both teams
remain tied on points and goal difference.
Roni Steinbach contributed to