Mizrahi guides Betar to victory

Pinto, Zandberg and Tamuz score in win over Maccabi Herzliya.

By JEREMY LAST
October 23, 2006 06:07
2 minute read.
betar jerusalem 298.88

betar jerusalem 298.88. (photo credit: www.beitar-jerusalem.net)

Betar Jerusalem cruised to a 3-0 victory over Maccabi Herzliya at Teddy Stadium on Sunday night, giving new coach Yossi Mizrahi the perfect start to his reign as the team's head. Goals from Jaono Pinto, Michael Zandberg and Toto Tamuz sealed the win for the yellow and black and catapulted Betar back to the top of the Israeli Premier League standings. It was a dream beginning for Mizrahi, who only took charge of the team on Thursday after Argentinian coach Ossie Ardiles was fired after being in control for only five matches. Betar president Arkadi Gaydamak, who had intervened to force Ardiles out after last week's loss to Maccabi Netanya, was clearly satisfied after the game. "It should be like this every week. We did everything we needed to. This is normal," he said. The result meant Herzliya stayed at the bottom of the standings and piled the pressure on head coach Reuven Atar. In his first game in charge, Mizrahi was forced to make some changes. Arik Benado started in place of the injured Tomer Ben-Yosef in the center of the defense alongside the much-criticized Shimon Gershon. And up front, national team star Amit Ben-Shushan began the game after not playing at all in Ardiles's last match against Maccabi Netanya last week. The promotion of the young striker to the starting lineup was clearly applauded by the home crowd, as was the introduction of Tamuz for Pinto after 56 minutes and Aviram Bruchian for Milovan Mirosovic in the 66th. Resplendent in their allwhite uniforms, Herzliya began the match on the defensive. In the opening minutes, Betar had a penalty claim turned down after Derek Boateng was tackled in the area. Betar claimed nearly all of the possession and appeared to be playing with an organization which had been lacking in the Ardiles era. After 24 minutes, Ben-Shushan had his first chance. Betar broke in numbers and Mirosevic put him clean through, forcing Herzliya 'keeper Shaul Smadja to make an impressive, one-handed save to stop the young forward from scoring. Two minutes later, Betar made the breakthrough. Ben-Shushan crossed from the left wing for his Brazilian striking partner Pinto, who rose like a phoenix from the flames to head home the opening goal of the game. It wasn't until the 39th minute that Herzliya had its first real chance of the match. Papik Imoto was put through, but his shot was topped by Betar 'keeper Itzik Kornfein. Herzliya started the second half the strongest, but soon Betar took control. The introduction of the lively Bruchian buoyed the team. The second goal came in the 80th minute. Boateng won the ball from a Herzliya attack and booted it up in the air. Zandberg lobbed it over the hapless Smadja. Five minutes later, Betar scored its third. Left back Roni Gafni passed down the wing to Yoav Ziv, who put a lovely cross through to Tamuz, who tricked the Herzliya defense and slotted home to seal an impressive win for the yellow-and-black. Despite the positive result, Mizrahi was less than impressed. "I am pleased with the victory but not pleased with the way we played," he said. "I have only been here a couple of days, but the team should play better. This is not the Betar I want to see."


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