Hapoel Beersheba demonstrated its title credentials with a resounding win at
Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-1 to close back to
within four points of Premier League leader Maccabi Tel Aviv.
was on its back foot for much of Monday’s encounter, but made the most of its
opportunities, with striker Dovev Gabai (42, 56, 71) netting a hat-trick,
including two second- half penalties.
Hapoel dominated the possession and
didn’t deserve to lose, but still dropped to its third consecutive defeat, its
sixth of the season, which leaves the reds in seventh place, 15 points behind
Beersheba and a further four points from the summit.
“This wasn’t one of
our best games, but we knew how to react and recorded a big win,” said Beersheba
coach Elisha Levy, whose team has won six of its past eight matches, going
unbeaten in its past nine games.
Hapoel not only dropped to its third
consecutive loss, but it also failed to win for the sixth time in its past seven
matches, increasing the pressure on already embattled coach Ran
The Reds at least managed to score a goal after a 1-0 defeat
to Maccabi in the derby and last week’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Bnei
Sakhnin, but that will be of little consolation for the coach.
of my players who played a superb game,” said Ben-Shimon. “The better team lost
tonight, but that is something that can happen in soccer.”
hadn’t beaten Hapoel at Bloomfield in over 19 years and it seemed unlikely to do
so for most of the first half, with the hosts smothering the
However, Tel Aviv struggled to create scoring opportunities
and the visitors struck on the break three minutes from the
Elyaniv Barda laid the ball off for the incoming Gabai, who
fired into the near corner, catching ’keeper Danny Amos off guard.
hosts finally got their reward for dictating the pace six minutes into the
second half, with Beersheba goalkeeper Austin Ejide failing to clear, allowing
Ramzi Sfuri to equalize from close range.
However, Beersheba would move
back in front just five minutes later, with Lior Levy handling the ball in the
box. Gabai stepped up to convert the spot kick and he netted his second penalty
of the night in the 71st minute after Orel Dgani was ruled to have pushed over
the striker in the box.
In other soccer news, the Israel Football
Association announced on Monday the members of the committee that will pick the
next national team coach.
IFA chairman Avi Luzon, his deputy, Stern
Haluba, IFA CEO Rotem Kemer, former Israel international Tzvika Rozen and former
national team coach Dror Kashtan will be those who decide if Eli Gutman will be
handed another term as Israel coach.
Gutman sat beside Luzon in Monday’s
match at Bloomfield and is expected to be given two more years at the helm and
guide Israel in Euro 2016 qualification despite the relative disappointment with
the results the team achieved during 2014 World Cup qualifying.
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