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 Hasharon.

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, setback.

“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 Monday.

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.

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