Hapoel Beersheba extended its perfect start to the Premier League season on
Saturday, beating Hapoel Acre 2-1 on the road for its third consecutive victory,
equaling its best-ever beginning to a campaign.
The last time Beersheba
began a season with three straight wins was the 1974/75 campaign, when it went
on to claim its first championship.
Acre took the lead against the run of
play in the 18th minute through Brazilian Juliano Spadacio, but Beersheba never
lost control and got its due reward when it equalized one minute from the break
thanks to a sensational free-kick from 30 meters out by Siraj Nasar, who has
scored in all three of his team’s matches this season, already surpassing his
output from last season.
Beersheba took the lead thanks to another
stunning strike nine minutes into the second half, with Elyaniv Barda laying the
ball off for Gal Erel, who found the back of the net with a superb shot from 25
Beersheba had to spend a third of the match with 10 men after
Evyatar Iluz was sent off in the 59th minute, but the southerners held on for
the three points to take sole possession of first place in the
“It is never easy to win here and I’m happy we recorded a
tough victory with 10 players,” said Beersheba’s ever-composed coach Elisha
Levy, who refused to discuss his team’s chances of winning the league title.
“This victory shows our strong character. But it wouldn’t be serious of me to
talk about claiming the championship at this stage. We look at the standings and
we are happy, but we will not talk about the championship.”
and the newly-promoted Hapoel Ra’anana turned an encouraging start to the season
to an impressive one after claiming their second victory in three matches on
Saturday, climbing up to second and third place in the table with seven points
out of a possible nine.
Amir Agajev gave Bnei Yehuda a 28th-minute lead
over Sakhnin at Bloomfield Stadium, but the visitors turned the match on its
head within three minutes courtesy of goals from Hamad Ganayem (32) and Mohamed
A Rafi Dahan red card left Bnei Yehuda with 10 men in the
70th minute and Ravid Gazal extended Sakhnin’s cushion in the 77th minute, with
Or Baruch netting a second consolation goal (79) before Ahmed Kasoum put the
icing on the cake for Sakhnin in stoppage time, capping a 4-2
Ra’anana coach Menahem Koretzki led his team to a sweet 3-1 triumph
at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, avenging his sacking by the latter last
Koretzki was one of the main reasons behind Ramat Hasharon’s
excellent start to last season, but was ultimately fired after clashing with the
He joined Ra’anana only late last season, but won all
seven of his matches at the helm to lead the club to promotion to the Premier
Hasan Sayaf put the hosts in the driving seat with the opener
(30), but Tamir Cohen leveled the score for Ra’anana on the brink of halftime
before Asi Baldut (55) and Anthony Nwakaeme (68) secured all three points for
Beitar Jerusalem dropped to its second defeat in three
matches on Saturday, losing 1-0 to Hapoel Haifa in Petah Tikva, with Teddy
Stadium still not ready to host games following the Maccabiah.
Tadas Kijanskas headed in the only goal of the match in the 24th minute, with
the Beitar defense caught napping in a Haifa free kick.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona beat Ashdod SC 1-0 courtesy of Ofir Mizrahi’s second minute
On Sunday, Gili Vermut is expected to return to Hapoel Tel Aviv’s
starting lineup when it hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Hapoel has gotten off
to its worst start in six years, picking up just one point from its first two
On Monday, Maccabi Haifa, which lost 1-0 to AZ Alkmaar in its
Europa League group opener on Thursday, welcomes Maccabi Tel Aviv, which drew 0-
0 with APOEL Nicosia in Europa action, in a showdown between the two leading
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