Elyaniv Barda regained his scoring touch when his team needed it most on Monday night, scoring Hapoel Beersheba’s winner four minutes from time to clinch a 2-1 victory over Bnei Sakhnin at Vasermil Stadium.
Beersheba star Barda had gone more than three months and 12 league matches without scoring a goal, but his unstoppable header from the center of the box in the 86th minute on Monday ensured his team returned to winning ways and closed back to within six points of league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv, a week after losing to the yellow-and-blue.
Glynor Plet squandered the best chance of the first half in the 31st minute, blasting his shot high above the goal with only Sakhnin ‘keeper Mahmud Kandil to beat.
However, he netted his sixth goal in the past eight league matches in the 58th minute, heading Beersheba into the lead from close range after Maor Buzaglo did all the hard work down the left flank, registering his 11th assist of the season.
Beersheba was in complete control, but Sakhnin equalized against the run of play in the 73rd minute. Spaniard Albert Crusat was bundled over in the box by William Suarez and Mohamed Kalibat converted the penalty.
However, the hosts wouldn’t be denied, with Barda finally ending his scoring drought to give his team all three points.
“We played well tonight,” said Beersheba coach Elisha Levy. “We didn’t give up even when the going got tough and we recorded a really sweet win. This win was important for us and the league. Everyone can see that we have a wonderful team here which keeps progressing and I believe we will continue to improve.”