Local Soccer: Maccabi Tel Aviv names new coach

By SHARON SOLOMON
December 11, 2005 06:59

Junior team's Tabak to take over after tonight's derby vs Hapoel.




Maccabi Tel Aviv has appointed Beni Tabak to replace Nir Klinger as coach. After days of rumors and uncertainty in the club, Tabak, the youth team coach has been promoted to manage the senior team until the end of the season. Manager Eli Driks will still stand on the sidelines for Sunday's derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv and only afterwards transfer the coaching duties to Tabak, who also played for Maccabi in the 1980's. Hapoel coach Dror Kashtan will be missing Ibazito Ogabuna up front and will continue to start new signing Ilya Yevorian, who is still lacking match fitness. Betar Jerusalem failed to beat Reuven Atar's Maccabi Netanya Saturday at Teddy Stadium and managed just a 1-1 draw. Alen Masudi shined for the visitors. Reigning Premier League champion Maccabi Haifa returned to winning ways by thrashing Maccabi Petah Tikva 3-1. Bnei Sakhnin pulled off a stunning comeback at Ashdod SC and came away with a 2-1 victory, earning three valuable points in its battle to avoid relegation. Betar Jerusalem 1, Maccabi Netanya 1 With Arkadi Gaydamak, Luis Fernandez and new signing Jerome Leroy in attendance, Tom Caanen's Betar Jerusalem produced a lackluster performance and managed just a draw. Youngster Maor Melikson was active on the left flank and his cross in the second minute gave Betar the lead when Barak Yitzhaki tapped in from close range after a mixup in the Netanya defense. But Netanya struck back soon and made it 1-1 in the 31st minute when a blunder by the Betar defense enabled unmarked Papi Kimoto to send the ball into Itzik Kornfein's left corner. The visitors were much better in the second half, but failed to take advantage. Masudi had a chance to give the yellows the win in extra time, but Kornfein effortlessly collected his kick. "The passing was not good, the finishing was poor and the players were lacking confidence," Caanen said after the game. "But this is football and teams can't win always." Betar also introduced new signing Jerome Leroy in a press conference after the game. Leroy inked a lucrative 2 1 /2-year contract on Friday. Maccabi Petah Tikva 1, Maccabi Haifa 3 Reigning champion Maccabi Haifa came out with its guns blazing after last week's draw at Sakhnin, and it didn't take the greens long to find the net. Veteran left back Adoram Keisi headed in an Alon Harazi cross to make in 1-0 in the 24th minute. Haifa doubled the lead just three minutes later when Roberto Colautti scored off Keisi's cross. The "Luzons" pulled one back in the 29th minute when Idan Tal fouled Omer Golan in the box. Soli Tzemach coolly stepped up and sent Nir Davidovitch the wrong way to give Petah Tikva some hope. But Haifa sealed the result in the 88th minute when substitute Shlomi Arbitman scored to make it 3-1. Ashdod SC 1, Bnei Sakhnin 2 Ashdod playmaker David Revivo came close to scoring in the first half when his piledriver hit the post. Revivo was in action again in the 50th minute. His corner kick was met by substitute Idan Shriki, who headed in to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. But Lufa Kadosh's Bnei Sakhnin made an unexpected and dramatic comeback in the finishing minutes. Abbas Suan's strong shot found the net in the 85th minute, after being diverted by Ashdod defender Ernest Etchi. The reds stunned the hosts just three minutes later when substitute Ahmed Kasum netted the winner from close range after a horrible mix up in the Ashdod defense. Hapoel Kfar Saba 1, Bnei Yehuda 1 Kfar Saba opened the game decisively and pressed ahead, but failed to take advantage with some clumsy efforts by Avi Knafo and Zoran Rayovic. Reuven Oved was in the starting lineup for Bnei Yehuda and justified Nitzan Shirazi's move in the 29th minute. Oved exchanged passes with Eli Abarbanel in midfield and finished with a crisp 20-meter drive that found the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Elisha Levy's players didn't give up. Substitute Oren Nissim found himself unmarked in the box and provided a clinical finish to make it 1-1 in the 87th minute, giving the greens a much-needed point. Upper Nazareth 2, Hapoel Petah Tikva 1 In Friday afternoon's Matchday 13 opener, Motti Ivanir's Upper Nazareth beat Hapoel Petah Tikva thanks to goals by Itai Shekhter (42) and Shahar Siman-Tov (69). Yossi Shivkhon scored the temporary equalizer off Manor Hasan's corner in the 52nd minute.


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