Hapoel Beersheba shattered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s aura of invincibility and breathed
new life into the Premier League title race on Monday night, claiming a 3-2 win
in a topsyturvy encounter at Vasermil Stadium.
Beersheba came back from a
goal down to take a 2-1 lead seven minutes into the second half and claimed all
three points thanks to Dovev Gabai’s 73rd minute strike after Tal Ben-Haim had
equalized for Maccabi.
Tel Aviv had conceded just a single goal in seven
matches entering the showdown in Beersheba, but it now finds itself just two
points clear of the southerners in the standings after falling to its first loss
of the season.
The hosts gifted Tel Aviv the opener in the 10th minute,
with Gal Erel’s reckless flick falling right into the path of Dabbur, who coolly
beat ‘keeper Austin Ejide.
Beersheba equalized against the run of play in
the 31st minute, with Siraj Nasar’s free kick from 30 meters out bemusing
goalkeeper Juan Pablo after taking a slight deflection.
Maccabi flew out
of the gate at the start of the second half, but it was Beersheba which struck
at the other end.
Elyaniv Barda looked to be marginally offside, but the
linesman never raised his flag and the striker sent an unstoppable shot from the
edge of the area into the top right corner.
However, it would take
Maccabi just two minutes to get back on level terms.
slipped on the right flank and Maharan Radi took full advantage, squaring the
ball for the incoming Tal Ben-Haim who made no mistake from three meters
Nevertheless, Gabai would take advantage of a Tibi slip in the 73rd
minute, collecting the ball and surging past Shiran Yeini before slotting in the
winner to send the local fans into delirium.
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