Hapoel Tel Aviv squandered a golden opportunity to make up lost ground in the Premier League on Saturday, drawing 0-0 with Hapoel Ra’anana at Bloomfield Stadium.
Tel Aviv entered the match with momentum on its side after recording two straight victories following a disappointing start to the campaign, failing to score a goal in its first two matches.
However, despite dominating the possession yesterday, Tel Aviv couldn’t find the back of the net once more and was forced to settle for a draw, which leaves it four points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beersheba, who will only be in action today.
“I feel very good about my team and I’m proud of my players,” said Tel Aviv coach Ran Ben-Shimon.
“We couldn’t score and we will have to find a way to cope better against teams which adopt such a defensive formation. If we continue to play like this we will be fine.”
Ra’anana coach Menahem Koretzki rebuffed Ben-Shimon’s accusations, saying his team played exactly the way it needed to in order to avoid defeat at Bloomfield.
“Hapoel barely created any chances and we came closer to scoring,” said Koretzki, whose team remained unbeaten this season.
“I will not play attacking soccer for the fans in a match like this and end up losing 4-0. A team that will want to beat us will have to spit blood. Our aim is to collect as many points as possible and I don’t care how we do it.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv, which beat Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 in Europa League action on Thursday, will be looking to extend its historic start to the season when it visits Ashdod SC on Sunday. The yellowand- blue became the first team ever to win its first four matches of the campaign without conceding a goal.
“We know Ashdod is a strong team, especially at home,” said Maccabi coach Paulo Sousa. “To play three days after a road match in Europe is a big challenge. Nevertheless, we will want to make sure that we display our normal ability and show our winning character.”
Beersheba, which has opened a season with four consecutive victories for the first time in club history, visits Maccabi Haifa, which has picked up just a single point from its past three league games, but will be entering the encounter encouraged by Thursday’s 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Karagandy in Europa League action.
Beitar Jerusalem returned to winning ways on Saturday, defeating Hapoel Ramat Hasharon 2-0 on the road.
After triumphing in just one of its first four games, the match at the floundering Ramat Hasharon couldn’t have come at a better time for Beitar. Ramat Hasharon continued its hapless start to the campaign, dropping to a fifth defeat in five games, being outscored by a combined goal difference of 2-14.
Shay Hadad netted the breakthrough with a free kick from the edge of the area in the ninth minute, with Sintiyahu Salalik securing the win in the 64th minute.
Ramat Hashaorn not only remained the only team yet to collect a point this season, but following Saturday’s results it is also the only side which hasn’t won in 2013/14.
Hapoel Acre and Maccabi Petah Tikva both claimed their first victories on Saturday, easing the pressure on coaches Yuval Naim and Moshe Sinai.
Acre defeated Hapoel Haifa 2-1 courtesy of two Steven Cohen goals (29, 53), with Zarko Korac (89) scoring a consolation goal for the visitors.
Petah Tikva beat Bnei Yehuda 4-2, with Pedro Galvan coming back to haunt his former club at Bloomfield.
The Argentinian left Bnei Yehuda after five seasons at the end of 2012/13 and refused to celebrate after scoring Petah Tikva’s opener in the 20th minute on Saturday.
Roei Dayan (34) doubled the advantage, with Emmanuel Ogude (60) and Diya Saba (78) finding the back of the net in the second half and rendering goals by Or Baruch (45) and Gil Itzhak (70) as meaningless.
Also yesterday, Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Bnei Sakhnin drew 1-1.
Mohamed Kalibat gave Sakhnin the lead in the 58th minute despite Khaled Khalaila’s sending off 20 minutes earlier, but David Manga (69) ensured the hosts at least avoided a defeat.
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