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Maccabi Haifa loses for third time in a row

Coach Roni Levy requires police escort to leave stadium as fans boo team.

September 17, 2007 07:40
2 minute read.
Maccabi Haifa loses for third time in a row

mac haifa 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

Maccabi Haifa coach Roni Levy was escorted out of Kiryat Eliezer Stadium by police on Sunday night after his team suffered its third defeat in three matches, losing 1-0 to Maccabi Petah Tikva. Furious Haifa fans booed their team off the field and demanded Levy resign immediately after Maccabi failed to collect any points or score any goals for a third straight league match. Israel international Omer Golan scored the only goal of the match in the 29th minute, taking advantage of scandalous defending by the hosts. Haifa, which has lost all three of its league matches by a single goal, was extremely poor throughout Sunday's match and never really came close to scoring for the first time this season. "We're going through a rough period," a downcast Levy said after the match. "I have played a big part in the way we have been playing. We have plenty of work to do and we will work hard to improve." Petah Tikva, which moves into fourth position in the standings after claiming its second straight win, enjoyed a superb performance by former Haifa midfielder Xavier Dirceo, who gave his team complete control in the center of the field. Haifa got off to an encouraging start when Giovanni Rosso hit a shot straight at keeper Ohad Cohen with less than a minute played. The hosts, however, would fail to build on their first shot on goal and Petah Tikva seized control of the proceedings as the match progressed. In the eighth minute the Haifa defense failed to handle Ismael Amar's free kick from 30 meters out and the ball was only kept out by the host's righthand post. In the 29th minute, however, the visitors could no longer be denied. Golan sliced the Haifa defense to ribbons and easily slotted the ball into the left corner beyond 'keeper Nir Davidovitch. Petah Tikva continued to dominate the midfield after taking the lead, hindering any Haifa attempt to equalize. The visitors came closest to scoring in the remainder of the half. Golan just missed Davidovitch's goal with a right footed shot from 20 meters out. Haifa's awful play continued in the second half, with the team not managing to create a single dangerous chance. In the 65th minute Kobi Ganon almost doubled Petah Tikva's lead, hitting a shot from a difficult angle to the left of the host's goal. Fourteen minutes later Ohad Kadusi had a golden opportunity to secure the victory, but the young striker struck his shot wide of goal from five meters out. Matchday 3 will be completed on Monday at Bloomfield Stadium where Maccabi Tel Aviv will host Hapoel Kfar Saba.

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