Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beersheba dropped their first points of the Premier
League season on Sunday night, only managing goalless deadlocks on their
The reigning champion from Tel Aviv entered its match at Ashdod
SC on the back of becoming the first team ever to begin a season with four
straight wins without conceding a goal. The yellow-and-blue once more recorded a
clean sheet, but failed to find the back of the net and was held to a 0-0 draw
Beersheba was hoping to make a statement by picking up all
three points against Maccabi Haifa at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. However, despite
Dekel Keinan’s sending off in the 40th minute, the southerners failed to
register their fifth straight win and were forced to settle for a 0-0
The draw was also not the result Haifa coach Arik Benado was
hoping for, with the Greens now going winless in their last seven matches in all
competitions, including their last four in local league action.
not the situation we want to be in,” said Benado. “We wanted to win this match.
We reached enough chances in the first half to win, but failed to convert them.
The players showed their character and fought for the point. We will eventually
reach the place we should be in.”
Haifa seized the initiative from the
first whistle and Hen Ezra recorded its first shot on target after less than
four minutes, firing straight at goalkeeper Austin Ejide.
stopper came to Beersheba’s rescue once more in the 30th minute, denying Ezra
yet again to the frustration of the toothless hosts.
The match turned on
its head in the 40th minute after an action packed sequence at both ends of the
It began with Shimon Abu Hazeira’s reckless miss from five meters
out, with the misfiring striker only managing to rattle the crossbar with only
the ’keeper to beat.
Beersheba immediately broke forward, and although
Dovev Gabay’s initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Bojan Saranov, Maor Buzaglo’s
rebound could only be denied by Keinan’s outstretched hand, resulting in a red
card for the Haifa defender and a penalty for the visitors.
confidently stepped up to take the spot kick, but he blasted his effort against
the crossbar to the disappointment of the 2,000 Beersheba fans that made the
long trip up north.
Despite playing with 10-men, it was Haifa which
recorded the first chance of the second half, with Eyal Golasa testing Ejide 10
minutes after the break.
Beersheba came centimeters away from breaking
the stalemate in the 79th minute, with Gal Erel sliding the ball through to
Dutch striker Glynor Plet, only for the substitute to fire just above the
In Ashdod, the hosts adopted a defensive formation in the hope
of limiting Maccabi’s scoring opportunities.
Ashdod’s game plan worked,
with neither team coming close to scoring in the first half.
Sousa’s tactical changes at halftime made life slightly more difficult for
Ashdod, with goalkeeper Ofir Marziano being called into action in the 63rd
minute to keep out Maharan Radi’s free kick.
Marziano maintained the
deadlock with a sensational save from Munas Dabbur’s header in the 72nd minute
and Maccabi was held to a draw for the first time this season after Eran Zahavi
failed to place his free kick on target deep into stoppage time.
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