Still no stopping rampant Maccabi TA
Despite cup disappointment, yellow-and-blue increase lead by blanking Sakhnin with a convincing 3-0 win at Doha.
Almog Cohen’s Hapoel Tel Aviv and Juwon Oshaniwa’s Ashdod SC Photo: Asaf Kliger
Maccabi Tel Aviv showed no lasting effects from its shock State Cup exit on
Saturday, convincingly beating Bnei Sakhnin 3-0 at Doha Stadium for its sixth
straight win to extend its lead at the top of the Premier League standings to 11
Maccabi was beaten 2-0 by Beitar Jerusalem in the last 16 of the
cup last week, but it bounced right back against Sakhnin, scoring all three of
its goals from set pieces.
Maharan Radi’s corners were turned in by Eitan
Tibi (21) and Rade Prica (61) and the former Sakhnin midfielder turned from
provider to scorer in the 82nd minute, burying a sensational free
“There are no easy games for us in this league,” said Maccabi coach
Oscar Garcia. “We have to work hard from the first minute until the end to claim
the win and that is what we did tonight.”
Maccabi Haifa can close back to
within eight points of the yellowand- blue when it hosts Hapoel Haifa on Monday
Maccabi Haifa is already guaranteed to end the regular season in
second place after Hapoel Tel Aviv could only manage a 1-1 draw against Ashdod
SC at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday.
Hapoel was fortunate to claim wins
in its first two matches under Freddy David since he replaced Yossi Abuksis as
coach, but its poor form caught up with it on Saturday.
gave Ashdod the lead with a clever free kick in the third minute, with Omer
Damari equalizing for Hapoel from the penalty spot in first half stoppage
After a promising start to the season, Ashdod has won just one of
its past 14 matches and will need to defeat Bnei Yehuda in its final regular
season match next week and for other results to go its way to sneak into the
The league will be split into two sections after
next week’s action. The top six teams will play each other twice more (10
matches in total) to decide the champion, while the bottom eight teams will play
each other once more to determine the relegation battle.
Hasharon currently sits in the coveted sixth position, despite suffering a 1-0
defeat to Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Saturday.
Dusan Matovic scored the only
goal of the match in the 41st minute to bring Kiryat Shmona within a single
point of Hapoel Tel Aviv in third place.
Beitar Jerusalem can leapfrog
Ashdod and Ramat Hasharon into sixth place with a victory over Maccabi Netanya
at Teddy Stadium on Sunday.
Bnei Yehuda is just two points back of Kiryat
Shmona after Nenad Marinkovic’s goal (55) gave it a 1-0 win over Hapoel
Only three points separate the league’s bottom five teams
after Hapoel Acre claimed a dramatic 2-1 win over Hapoel Ramat Gan on
Guy Dayan’s second-minute opener for Acre was canceled out by
Dorin Goga’s penalty two minutes from time, but Dedi Ben-Dayan gave the visitors
a crucial win three minutes into injury time.
Roni Steinbach contributed
to this report