Betar Jerusalem players after win_370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Betar Jerusalem scored more than one goal in a match for just the third time
this season on Saturday, climbing out of the relegation zone with a 3-2 victory
over Maccabi Petah Tikva at the Moshava Stadium.
Betar hadn’t scored a
pair in a match in more than two months and hadn’t netted three since August,
but it needed just 34 minutes to move into a 3-1 lead in Petah Tikva on
Avi Rikan gave Betar the lead in the 13th minute with his first
league goal of the season, with his left-footed shot from the edge of the area
taking a deflection on its way into the back of the net.
Petah Tikva was
back on level terms just four minutes later, with Omer Golan finishing off a
swift team move started by Danny Preda.
But just three more minutes
passed before Leonardo Passos Alves headed Betar back in front and Jerusalem had
a two-goal cushion in the 34th minute after Rikan’s shot was saved by Robi
Levkovich only to hit the post and roll over the line off defender Ori
Petah Tikva got back into the match in the 72nd minute thanks to
Andriy Pylyavskyi’s own goal, but Betar held on for its second straight win to
move up to 12th place.
Only four points now separate 11thplaced Hapoel
Haifa, which visits Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday, and Hapoel Rishon Lezion in 15th
after the latter won consecutive matches for the first time since the second
week of the season on Saturday, beating Ashdod SC 2-1.
was hoping to claim its third straight win on Saturday, but instead it was
crushed 5-1 at Bnei Yehuda and dropped into the relegation zone due to Petah
Tikva’s superior goal difference.
Oz Raly (14) and Amir Agajev (18) put
Bnei Yehuda in control and any hope Beersheba had of making a comeback after Ido
Eksbard’s 37th-minute strike was emphatically extinguished by goals from Pedro
Galvan (60, 87) and Shalev Menashe (83).
Bnei Sakhnin climbed to third
place on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Hapoel Petah Tikva courtesy of goals from
Kostadin Hazurov (9), Ahmed Kasoum (64) and Ohad Kadusi (81).
Netanya clinched a place in the championship playoffs on Saturday with a 1-0
road win at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon.
Nir Nahum scored the only goal of the
match in the ninth minute.
At the top of the table, Ironi Kiryat Shmona
coach Ran Ben-Shimon admitted on Saturday that his side has effectively clinched
the league title after moving 17 points clear at the top of the standings with a
2-0 home win over Hapoel Acre.
Acre’s Moshe Mishaelof gifted Kiryat
Shmona the lead on the verge of halftime and the northerners secured the victory
five minutes into the second half thanks to Shlomi Azulai’s header.
have won the championship, now we just have to make sure we keep hold of it,”
Second-placed Hapoel Tel Aviv can cut Kiryat Shmona’s
lead by three points with a win at Maccabi Haifa on Monday, but the gap at the
top will likely be even greater than 17 points by then.
expected to be deducted points by the Israel Football Association’s disciplinary
court on Sunday for its fans’ unruliness in last week’s 1-0 derby defeat to
Maccabi Tel Aviv.