(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Betar Jerusalem snapped its two-match Premier League losing streak on Monday night, but coach Yuval Naim was still extremely frustrated after his team failed to win for a fourth straight encounter, drawing 1-1 with Hapoel Rishon Lezion at National Stadium in Ramat Gan.
Betar gifted Rishon’s David Gomez the opener in the 23rd minute and the hosts had plenty of chances to take all three points after Aviram Bruchian equalized eight minutes before the break.
However, Jerusalem could not convert its possession to goals, and after winning three of four matches to start the season, it has gone winless in its last four games since defeating Hapoel Haifa one month ago.
“This was a match we should have won,” Naim said. “We were in complete control until we conceded the goal. We didn’t know how to take the lead after equalizing and squandered many chances.
“We are paying the price for playing so many young players in our team.”
Betar dominated proceedings, but it was Rishon which went ahead in the 23rd minute.
Avi Rikan’s disastrous header back towards his goalkeeper Ariel Harush
was picked off by Gomez, who had little trouble slotting in the opener.
Jerusalem got back on level terms 14 minutes later when Amit Ben-Shushan
put through Bruchian, who made no mistake in front of goal.
But Betar couldn’t go on to claim all three points ahead of its visit to Bnei Sakhnin next week.
Earlier Monday, Eyal Lachman was named as Maccabi Petah Tikva’s new
coach, replacing Marco Balbul, who was sacked after Saturday’s 3-2 home
defeat to Hapoel Ramat Hasharon.
With 11 points from eight matches, Petah Tikva is just three points back
of third place, but club president Amoz Luzon has been unhappy with the
coach from the very start of the season and fired him on Saturday after
seeing the team drop a two-goal lead against the newly-promoted Ramat
Lachman has coached Maccabi Petah Tikva before, in the 1998/99 season,
and has since guided 13 different clubs, resigning as coach of National
League Hapoel Ra’anana last month.