Maccabi Netanya opens new stadium with victory

Maccabi Netanya christens its new NIS 240 million stadium with a precious 2-1 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv.

November 4, 2012 23:48
1 minute read.
Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Tel Aviv

Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Tel Aviv 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Netanya christened its new NIS 240 million stadium with a precious 2-1 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv on Sunday night.

Netanya had picked up just a single point from its previous three Premier League matches, but it was not overawed by the occasion on Sunday and claimed a deserved win against Hapoel, which lost for a second straight time.

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Netanya should have taken the lead four minutes from the break when Serge Bongeli found himself all alone in front of Apoula Edel’s goal, only to completely fluff his shot.

The hosts squandered an even better chance two minutes later after being given a penalty when Bongeli’s shot at goal was blocked by Ze’ev Haimovitch’s hand.

However, Ahmed Saba’s weak effort was saved by Edel and the half seemed destined to end in a goalless deadlock.

But Saba thought otherwise, making amends for his miss with a clinical finish in the second minute of stoppage time.

Hapoel equalized in the 62nd minute when Hanan Maman stole the ball in the center of the field before threading a pass through to Omer Damari, who made no mistake with only the ‘keeper to beat.

However, Hapoel will enter next week’s Tel Aviv derby six points behind Maccabi after Netanya clinched all three points in the 71st minute thanks to Ali Khatib’s unstoppable free kick from the edge of the area.

“Our defensive play is a real problem and we will have to find a solution,” said Hapoel’s worried-looking coach Yossi Abuksis.

On TV: Maccabi Haifa vs Bnei Yehuda (live on Sport 1 at 7:15 p.m.)

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