(photo credit: Betar Jerusalem website)
A Hen Azriel stoppage time goal gave Betar Jerusalem a share of the points at
Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Sunday night following an entertaining 3-3 draw
against Maccabi Haifa.
Haifa seemed to be heading to the top of the
Premier League standings after it came from behind to take a 3-2 lead thanks to
a brace by substitute Shlomi Azulai.
However, 15 minutes after being
introduced from the substitutes’ bench, Azriel picked up the ball in the box and
smashed in a dramatic equalizer for Betar, which after losing its first three
matches of the season seems to be finally finding its way.
with this point,” Betar coach Uri Malmilian said. “Betar played well tonight and
we have a good future ahead of us.” Haifa coach Elisha Levy was understandably
frustrated with seeing two points slip away so late in the
“I’m disappointed,” Levy said. “When you come back from behind
you need to know how to hold on to your lead.”
Levy was forced to manage
without the injured Yaniv Katan and Lior Rafaelov, but the hosts still got off
to the better start and would eventually score the opener.
19-year-old Sintiyahu Salalik, making just his second league appearance for
Haifa, impressed with his runs down the right flank and his excellent build-up
play almost resulted in a goal in the seventh minute.
Mohammad Ghadir in the box, but the forward’s weak effort was cleared off the
line by Betar’s Moshe Mishaelof.
Ten minutes later, Haifa made the
The Betar defense couldn’t cope with Salalik’s cross and
Eyal Golasa pounced to smash in the opener from 10 meters out.
two minutes later, however, Haifa’s defensive frailties were exposed.
hosts defense failed to clear Idan Tal’s corner and Chilean defender Cristian
Gonzalez had all the time in the world to slot in the equalizer. Betar’s quick
reply stunned Haifa, but neither team created much in the remainder of the first
However, less than two minutes into the second half, Betar was
gifted the lead by Haifa defender Shai Maimon.
A confused Maimon passed
the ball straight to the feet of Betar’s Steven Cohen and the midfielder had no
trouble picking out Samuel Yeboah, who had the net at his mercy.
visitors grew in confidence after taking the lead, but Haifa sent more and more
players forward as the match progressed and tied the score in the 65th
Moments after Yeboah’s superb surge forward was halted by ‘keeper
Amir Edri, Haifa hit Betar on the break, with Peter Masilela crossing the ball
perfectly for Azulai to slot in.
Twelve minutes later, Azulai completed
Vladimir Dvalishvili sliced the Betar defense with his
through ball and ’keeper Ariel Harush could only slow Azulai’s shot as it rolled
into the back of the net.
Haifa seemed to be heading towards the three
points, but 30 seconds after the 90th minute Azriel popped up in the box and
beat Edri to give Betar a deserved point.