Hapoel Tel Aviv’s perfect start to the Premier League season came to a grinding
halt on Sunday night with a surprise 1-0 defeat at Hapoel Ramat
Tel Aviv had won its first three matches of the campaign, but
it never really showed up on Sunday, with Adrian Fernandez heading in the winner
for Ramat Hasharon in the 32nd minute.
Ramat Hasharon’s Moshe Abutbul was
sent off in the 65th minute, being shown a harsh second yellow card for pulling
at Hanan Maman’s shirt.
However, the visitors still failed to mount any
sort of comeback and suffered an unexpected, yet well-deserved,
“Maybe the players thought that this would be an easy match,”
Tel Aviv coach Nitzan Shirazi said.
“First and foremost you have to want
to win and we didn’t want it enough tonight.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv will look
to accomplish what its arch-rival failed to achieve and make it four wins out of
four matches when it hosts champion Ironi Kiryat Shmona at Bloomfield Stadium on
Maccabi hasn’t played all that impressively in its first three
matches of the season, but the yellow-and-blue got the result it desired each
time and will be looking to join Ashdod SC at the top of the standings with
another victory on Monday.
Kiryat Shmona dropped its first points of the
campaign when it lost 1-0 to Maccabi Netanya last Saturday, but it rebounded
with a commendable 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao in its Europa League Group I
opener on Thursday.
“It’s not easy to play against Bilbao on the road and
I think they played very well. We know they are a very good team,” said Maccabi
coach Oscar, who confirmed that new signing Robert Earnshaw is set to make his
debut on Monday.