Maccabi Tel Aviv extended its gap at the top of the Premier League standings to
seven points in emphatic fashion on Saturday night, while Hapoel Tel Aviv’s
dismal campaign got even worse with a humbling defeat at Bnei
The defending champion made it five wins in a row and 11
victories in 14 matches so far this season with a 5-0 thrashing of Hapoel Acre
at Bloomfield Stadium.
The yellow-and-blue battled to a 1-0 win over
Hapoel in the derby last week, but recorded its biggest triumph of the campaign
so far on Saturday to pile the pressure on second-placed Hapoel Beersheba, which
can close the gap back to four points when it hosts Beitar Jerusalem on
Eran Zahavi broke the deadlock in the 24th minute and took his
tally for the season to a league-best nine goals with his accurate penalty on
the stroke of halftime.
However, Acre felt hard done-by at the break,
with referee Daniel Bar- Natan reversing his decision to award the visitors a
penalty seven minutes from halftime after allegedly being told to do so by
fourth official Ziv Adler, who reviewed the incident in a TV replay against the
Maccabi would nevertheless show no mercy in the second half,
with Dor Micha (58), Rade Prica (74) and Gal Alberman (88) completing the
Hapoel Tel Aviv lost any lingering hope it may have had of
challenging Maccabi for the title following its fourth consecutive derby defeat.
However, Saturday’s 4-0 trouncing at the hands of Bnei Sakhnin means it is
quickly losing touch even with the top three.
Sakhnin proved it fully
deserves to be in third position in the standings, with a resounding victory
over Hapoel. Firas Mugrabi (10) scored the opener after an awful mistake by
goalkeeper Boris Kleyman, with Mohamed Kalibat (43) doubling the advantage with
a bullet from the edge of the box two minutes from the interval. Mohammad Ghadir
(60) collected the ball in his own half and raced all the way to his team’s
third goal of the night before Dedi Ben- Dayan (81) scored a rare
“This is a very painful defeat,” said Hapoel coach Ran
“This was one of those dark days. But I’m not going to
resign. I have started something here and I want to finish it. Even though the
beginning of the season hasn’t been very good, I believe it will be good at the
Sakhnin coach Marco Balbul couldn’t stop smiling at the final
“We deserved to win by this margin,” he said. “The players
deserve every credit for what they achieved today.”
Maccabi Petah Tikva
climbed out of the relegation zone on Saturday, beating Hapoel Ra’anana 1-0
courtesy of Diya Saba’s 33rd-minute strike.
Petah Tikva leapfrogged
Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, which saw its sixmatch unbeaten streak come to an end
with a 3-0 loss at Hapoel Haifa.
Zarko Korac (1, 44, 89) scored a
hat-trick for Haifa, which ended a five-game winless streak.
remained rooted to the bottom of the standings, losing 1-0 at Ashdod SC. David
Solari broke Bnei Yehuda hearts with the winner one minute from time, handing
the club from south Tel Aviv its fifth straight loss and 11th defeat in the past
On Sunday, Maccabi Haifa visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona.
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