Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over
Ashdod SC to move tied on points with the league-leader, while Maccabi Haifa
finally claimed its first win of the season, beating Hapoel Ramat Gan
Tel Aviv suffered its first defeat of the campaign last week after
opening the season with four consecutive wins, but it got right back on track at
Bloomfield Stadium by ending Ashdod’s perfect start.
Dor Micha gave Tel
Aviv the lead after 18 minutes, but the hosts failed to score again in a
dominant first half and Ashdod got back on level terms seven minutes after the
break thanks to Dimitar Makriev’s header.
However, it took the
yellow-and-blue just three minutes to move back in front, and this time for
good, with substitute Robert Earnshaw scoring his first goal for the club after
a swift turn in the box which wrongfooted Ashdod ‘keeper Ofir
“We played against the best team in the league at the moment
and I’m happy because the fans are happy,” said Tel Aviv coach Oscar
“They are proud because their team played 100 percent all the
time and I think this is the way.”
Haifa was far from impressive against
the newly-promoted Ramat Gan at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium, but it won’t care one
bit after finally registering its first victory of the season.
picked up just two points from its first five matches, marking its worst ever
start to a league campaign, and the pressure of recent results was clearly
taking its toll on the players on Saturday.
However, Ramat Gan’s Israel
Zaguri did his former team a massive favor eight minutes from halftime when he
recklessly lashed out at Liroy Zhairi and was duly sent off.
Haifa just six minutes to convert its one-man advantage to a goal, with Dino
Ndlovu finding the back of the net with a powerful header from Hen Ezra’s corner
Despite being in a comfortable position, Haifa only seemed
interested in reaching the final whistle with its lead still intact rather than
trying to increase its advantage.
It had to endure a nervy second half
before finally clinching all three points when Idan Vered scored in the second
minute of stoppage time, with Ramat Gan ending the match with nine men after the
sending off of Bernard Onanga in the 88th minute.
“I had forgotten how it
felt to win,” said Haifa’s very relieved coach Reuven Atar.
“We had a
good first half, but in the second half our legs got heavy.
nothing like the way we should have because of everything that happened over the
“I believe that we will embark on a good run after this
Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Haifa are still searching for their first
wins of the season and continue to occupy the last two spots of the
Sakhnin came painfully close to recording its debut victory on
Saturday, but a Pedro Galvan goal three minutes into stoppage time snatched a
2-2 draw for Bnei Yehuda at Doha Stadium.
Yero Bello (15) and Allah Abu
Saleh (23) put Sakhnin in an ideal position, but Abu Saleh’s own goal handed
Bnei Yehuda a lifeline and Galvan netted a dramatic equalizer.
Haifa dropped to a 2-0 defeat at the surprising Hapoel Ramat
Kobi Musa (28) and Asi Baldut (55) scored for Ramat Hasharon,
which extended its unbeaten run to five matches despite losing Or Ostvind to a
red card in the 65th minute.
Maccabi Netanya’s disappointing start to the
season continued on Saturday when it suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Hapoel
Netanya went ahead through Idan Shriki in the second minute of the
second half, but it took Acre just one minute to equalize courtesy of Ohad
Kadusi and Yuval Shabtai (68) and David Gomez (93) completed the
Hapoel Tel Aviv’s match against Betar Jerusalem and Ironi
Kiryat Shmona’s encounter with Hapoel Beersheba were postponed to October 29 due
to Tel Aviv’s and Kiryat Shmona’s participation in the Europa League.