Hapoel Tel Aviv moved tied on points with Premier League leader Maccabi Tel Aviv
on Saturday night, building on last week’s derby win with another victory, this
time 1-0 at Ironi Kiryat Shmona while the yellow-and-blue dropped to a second
Maccabi held what seemed like a comfortable six-point
cushion at the top of the standings ahead of the derby, but it fell to a 1-0
defeat to its arch-rival despite dominating the possession and failed to score
once more on Saturday, losing 1-0 to Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield
Almost 7,000 fans attended the match despite a rocket siren
sounding in the area just 45 minutes prior to kickoff.
director Jordi Cruyff attacked the Israel Football Association’s decision to
hold the match, saying that there’s no point in playing in such a
However, IFA chairman Avi Luzon, who attended the game at
Bloomfield, rebuffed Cruyff’s claims.
“Cruyff will not run Israeli
soccer, not him or any other foreigner,” Luzon said.
“I checked with the
police and they said to continue with regular life and I’m happy that was their
“Had we not played in Tel Aviv, European teams would have
refused to come and play in Israel and that was one of my
Maccabi had numerous chances to equalize after Bnei
Yehuda took a 13thminute lead through Nenad Marinkovic, but it couldn’t find the
back of the net without suspended top scorer Eliran Atar and fell to its third
loss of the season.
“It’s very difficult because we didn’t practice for
the last two days,” said Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia. “But we must play if the
federation decided that we have to play. We had many chances but we weren’t
accurate. They had one chance and they scored.”
Hapoel Tel Aviv took less
than three minutes to move into the lead at Kiryat Shmona courtesy of Toto
Tamuz’s goal and the Reds held on for another far from impressive
“The only thing that I’ll take from this match is the three
points,” said Abuksis.
“This is a very important win against a very
Also Saturday, Hapoel Ramat Hasharon claimed a 2-1 win at
Ran Itzhak (25) and Adrian Fernandez (26) scored for
Ramat Hasharon, with Ahmed Saba netting Netanya’s consolation goal from the
penalty spot in stoppage time.
The matches between Hapoel Beersheba and
Hapoel Ramat Gan, and Ashdod SC and Hapoel Acre were postponed on
On Sunday, Betar Jerusalem welcomes Hapoel Haifa, while Maccabi
Haifa hosts Bnei Sakhnin on Monday Hapoel Haifa can send cross-town rival
Maccabi to the bottom of the standings should it win at Teddy
The Greens are set to be guided on Monday by youth team coach
Arik Benado, with Ran Ben-Shimon, who currently coaches AEK Larnaca of the
Cypriot league, likely to be announced as Reuven Atar’s replacement this week.