Maccabi Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa put on a highly entertaining show at
Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night, but ended up having to settle for one point
each after the pulsating showdown ended in a 1-1 draw.
Tel Aviv was
looking for just its second win over Haifa in their past 17 league meetings, but
it had to settle for snapping its five-match losing streak to the Greens
following a tense battle between the two best teams in Israel at the
Shiran Yeini gave the hosts a dream start when he headed in the
opener in the fifth minute, but Eyal Golasa equalized for Haifa in the 27th
minute and Haifa was unlucky not to leave Bloomfield with all three points,
missing numerous chances in front of goal.
The draw leaves Tel Aviv top
of the standings on 16 points from seven matches, five points clear of
fifthplaced Haifa, which proved on Monday that it will not relinquish its league
title without a fight.
Meanwhile, Hapoel Tel Aviv failed to take
advantage of the draw at Bloomfield, dropping to its first defeat of the Premier
League season on Monday night, losing 2-1 at Maccabi Netanya.
mediocre start to the season, Hapoel managed to grind out results until Monday,
but its far from impressive form caught up with it in Netanya.
continued his superb start to the season when he gave Netanya the lead in the
26th minute before Avihai Yadin tied the score in the 63rd.
Hapoel’s equalizer lasted just four minutes, with Saba scoring his sixth league
goal of the campaign in the 67th minute to give Netanya its first home win of
At Bloomfield, Tel Aviv’s defense looked unsettled from the
start of the match and was fortunate not to find itself a goal down as early as
the third minute when Weeam Amasha rounded ’keeper Guy Haimov after a Nivaldo
blunder, only to miss the target with his shot from a tight
Haifa’s plan to press the hosts in their own half right from the
kickoff seemed to be paying off, but the visitors went behind in the fifth
minute after their defense was caught napping.
Yeini was left unmarked in
the Haifa box and he had little trouble heading in the opener from Haris
Haifa took time to recover from the early blow, but
it scored a deserved equalizer in the 27th minute courtesy of Golasa’s tireless
work and Omer Vered’s blunder.
The Tel Aviv defender was caught off guard
and Golasa stole the ball under his nose before surging into the box from the
left flank and smashing in the equalizer with a thunderous shot.
sides had their chances to move into the lead in the remainder of the excellent
first half at Bloomfield, but Haimov did well to deny Vered and Golasa and Bojan
Saranov kept out Medunjanin’s long-range effort to keep the encounter finely
balanced at the break.
Both teams kept up the frantic pace at the start
of the second half as well, but it was Haifa which created the better
Vered squandered two golden opportunities within less than two
minutes at one stage, with captain Yaniv Katan also guilty of
In the 62nd minute, Tel Aviv goalkeeper Haimov was beaten,
but Yoav Ziv came out of nowhere to clear Eyal Meshumar’s shot from the line to
keep the match tied.
In other Israeli soccer news, Hapoel Beersheba
announced on Monday that Guy Levy will replace Nir Klinger as the team’s
Levy coached Beersheba in the 2008/09 season, but left after one
year despite guiding the team to Premier League promotion.
picked up its first points of the season with a 2-0 win at Hapoel Haifa on
Saturday, but Klinger still declared his resignation in his postmatch TV
interview, claiming he had enough of the fans abuse after Beersheba began the
season with six straight defeats.