Defender Branko Ilic played the role of villain and hero in Hapoel Tel Aviv’s
2-1 victory over 10-man Ashdod SC at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday
The Slovenian gifted Ashdod a penalty in the 54th minute, pulling
down Paty Yeye in the box, and David Solari converted the spot
Hapoel equalized just two minutes later after Omer Damari netted a
penalty following Aleksandar Davidov’s handball.
Ashdod found itself with
just 10 men in the 63rd minute after Israel Rosh, the last man on defense,
However, even with a one-player advantage, Hapoel
struggled to create scoring opportunities until Ilic came to his team’s rescue,
scoring an 89th-minute winner after a melee in the Ashdod box.
first win in four matches took it up to fourth place in the Premier League
standings, 10 points behind league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv ahead of next week’s
derby. Ashdod remained in 10th place on 15 points.
An hour-long tribute
event in honor of legendary singer Arik Einstein preceded the match.
well as being Hapoel’s most famous fan, Einstein was also a life-long supporter
of English Premier League club Arsenal. A letter of condolence from Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger to Einstein’s wife Sima arrived at their home on
Elsewhere, Roni Levy held his first training session as Beitar
Jerusalem coach on Monday and called for patience after the team suffered its
fourth straight defeat on Sunday night, losing 2-1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv at Teddy
“I’m very happy and very excited to be back at Beitar,” said
Levy, who also guided the club in the first half of 2011.
“It is a big
challenge to come back. A significant improvement is required and everyone knows
that. Everybody knows that matters won’t magically improve, but there is a
special spirit at Beitar.”
In other news, Yossi Benayoun is set to
complete his transfer to QPR later this week after receiving his work permit on
Monday. Benayoun returned to Israel on Monday for 48 hours, but will fly back to
London later this week to join his new team in training.
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