Maccabi Haifa survives Sakhnin

Maccabi Haifa placed extra pressure on Hapoel Tel Aviv on Saturday to move back to the top of the Premier League standings.

February 6, 2011 04:20
2 minute read.
Maccabi Haifa player Yaniv Katan.

Yaniv Katan Maccabi Haifa_311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Haifa placed extra pressure on Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv ahead of Sunday’s derby after edging Bnei Sakhnin 1-0 at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Saturday to move back to the top of the Premier League standings.

Tomer Hemed scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute after a mistake by the Sakhnin defense, giving Haifa all three points despite yet another poor performance.

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Hapoel Tel Aviv can return to first position with a victory in the derby at Bloomfield Stadium, but Maccabi Tel Aviv will be desperate for the win after falling seven points back of Haifa on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hapoel Petah Tikva came back from two goals down to claim a prestigious 3-2 victory in the derby against Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday.

Maccabi Petah Tikva had a stranglehold of the bragging rights over its arch-rival in recent years and looked to be on its way to another win over the struggling Hapoel on Saturday, leading 2-0 after seven minutes thanks to Tal Ben Haim’s penalty (5) and Michael Zandberg’s (7) goal.

However, Israel Zaguri (13) and Ido Eksbard (18) equalized in no time and Guy Dayan scored the winner in the 63rd minute to give Hapoel its first league win since December and take it out of the relegation zone.

Maccabi Petah Tikva’s loss allowed Hapoel Acre to leapfrog into fifth place, defeating Hapoel Ashkelon 1-0 at home through Roei Dayan’s 87th minute goal.

Hapoel Beersheba is only kept out of the top-six by goal difference after thrashing Ashdod SC 5-0 at Vasermil Stadium on Saturday.

Dovev Gabai (31, 51, 54) scored a hat-trick in his debut for Beersheba, with Eran Levy (7) giving the hosts the lead and Oded Gavish (32) scoring with a header.

Betar Jerusalem remained unbeaten under the guidance of Roni Levy, drawing 1-1 with Bnei Yehuda at Teddy Stadium.

George Amsis gave the visitors the lead in the 17th minute, but Aviram Bruchian rescued a point for Betar two minutes from time from the penalty spot after a questionable decision by the referee.

Ironi Kiryat Shmona dropped to a surprise 3-1 home defeat to Hapoel Haifa on Saturday, with Eden Ben-Basat (3, 15) and Asi Baldut (53) scoring for the visitors and Shimon Abu Hazeira (45) netting a consolation goal for Kiryat Shmona.

Also Saturday, Maccabi Netanya beat Hapoel Ramat Gan through goals from Nir Nahum (63) and Sergy Tretyak (69).

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