Ran Ben-Shimon couldn’t join Maccabi Haifa soon enough, with the Greens once
more looking lost on Monday night, drawing 0-0 at home against Bnei
Haifa sacked coach Reuven Atar last week after the team only
picked up seven points from its first nine matches, recording just a single
Ben-Shimon is at the top of owner Jacob Shahar’s wish-list, but
Haifa has yet to reach an agreement with his current club, AEK Larnaca of the
Cypriot league, and youth team coach Arik Benado guided the Greens on
Several Haifa players said that they would make an extra effort
for Benado, who retired just last year, but the team’s play was as apathetic as
ever on Monday, with the hosts barely even creating scoring opportunities at
Kiryat Eliezer Stadium.
Haifa visits in-form Betar Jerusalem next week
and will be hoping to have a full-time replacement for Atar by
Ben-Shimon has already agreed personal terms with the club, but
Larnaca is holding out for 600,000 euros for his release, a sum Haifa refuses to
Shahar would like to seal the Ben- Shimon deal this week, but should
he fail to do so, Israel under-21 coach Guy Luzon is expected to be his next
Luzon is currently preparing the under-21 side for next summer’s
European Championships to be hosted in Israel.
However, with the team
only having one more friendly match on its schedule ahead of the start of the
tournament, the Israel Football Association could well approve for Luzon to hold
both jobs simultaneously until next summer.
Yaniv Katan returned to the
starting lineup on Monday after Atar dropped him from the squad last week and he
registered Haifa’s first threat at Mahmud Kannadil’s goal, firing just wide from
20 meters out after 29 minutes.
Haifa’s best chance of the match arrived
in the 36th minute, with Dino Ndlovu sending a weak effort from three meters out
right at Kannadil with only the ’keeper to beat.
It wasn’t until the 70th
minute that Haifa finally reached its first chance of the second half, with Orel
Dgani blasting the ball high above target.
The hosts created scarce
little after that and yet again were booed off the pitch by their frustrated