Bryan Gerzicich (tackling) 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Ashdod SC and Maccabi Tel Aviv maintained the status quo at the top of the
Premier League standings on Saturday, each claiming 2-0 victories for their
sixth wins in seven matches this season.
Ashdod left it late against
Ironi Kiryat Shmona, with Dimitar Makriev (80) and Sandi Arcon (91) finding the
back of the net for Yossi Mizrahi’s team.
Maccabi Tel Aviv overcame the
trauma of recent seasons to defeat Hapoel Acre on the road courtesy of an own
goal by Imoro Lukman (6) and Eliran Atar’s (44) seventh goal of the
Maccabi conceded three goals and lost at Acre in each of the past
two seasons, but its win was never in doubt after it took an early lead on
“I remember the results the team recorded here in the last two
seasons so I’m very happy,” said Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia. “I always want to
improve and hope that we get better every day.”
Ashdod took 80 minutes to
net the breakthrough against the reigning champion, with Murad Abu Anza’s shot
being blocked by Itzik Cohen’s hand and Makriev stepping up to slot in the
The hosts clinched the three points in stoppage time, with
Slovenian Arcon scoring on his debut.
“The name of the game in soccer is
to make the most of your opportunities,” said Ashdod coach Yossi Mizrahi. “We
should have led 3-0 at halftime, but we pushed forward in the final 15 minutes
and finally exploited our chances.”
Mizrahi was especially pleased with
his team’s reaction to its first defeat of the season at Maccabi Tel Aviv two
“We showed a lot of character,” he added. “We will have more
losses down the road, but you must not allow matters to spiral out of
This victory shows real maturity.”
Bnei Sakhnin climbed
off the bottom of the standings with its first win of the season on
Sakhnin beat Hapoel Ramat Hasharon 3-1 on the road, with Hamad
Ganayem (26), Allah Abu Saleh (42) and Aleksandar Davidov (78) scoring for the
visitors, nullifying Moshe Abutbul’s (35) initial equalizer.
releases a lot of pressure,” said Sakhnin captain Khaled Khalaila. “We have been
playing well for a while and we deserve this win.”
Unlike Sakhnin, Hapoel
Haifa is still searching for a first win of the season, with Nir Klinger’s men
only managing a 0-0 draw against Hapoel Beersheba at Kiryat Eliezer
Haifa is only kept off the bottom of the standings by Betar
Jerusalem, but Klinger’s team has got just three points from seven matches,
while Betar, which has two points, will only be playing its sixth game of the
season when it visits Bnei Yehuda on Sunday night.
Also Saturday, Hapoel
Ramat Gan and Maccabi Netanya drew 1-1 at National Stadium in Ramat
Amit Shomovich gave Netanya the lead on 52 minutes, but David Manga
equalized six minutes later.
Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Haifa at
Bloomfield Stadium on Monday.
(Roni Steinbach contributed to this report)