Rampant Greens make it 4 wins in a row

Maccabi Haifa closes to within just five points of the Premier League summit, defeating Hapoel Ramat Gan 3-0.

January 21, 2013 00:04
1 minute read.
MACCABI HAIFA defender Taleb Tawatha

MACCABI HAIFA defender Taleb Tawatha 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Haifa closed to within just five points of the Premier League summit on Sunday night, defeating Hapoel Ramat Gan 3-0 at the National Stadium for its fourth straight victory and eighth in the past nine matches.

Haifa clinched all three points with ease, taking a 2-0 lead in the 28th minute and cruising for the remainder of the encounter.

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Two months after trailing Maccabi Tel Aviv in first place by 14 points, Haifa’s sensational run under coach Arik Benado has brought it within striking distance of the top, although Hapoel Tel Aviv could move up to first place, six points ahead of the Greens, with a victory over Betar Jerusalem on Monday.

Ramat Gan had the better of the early possession on Sunday, but it was Haifa which broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, with Hen Ezra doing all the hard work down the right flank and his cross eventually falling to Weeam Amasha’s feet for an easy close-range opener.

Taleb Tawatha doubled Haifa’s advantage 10 minutes later, racing through Ramat Gan’s defense and firing past ‘keeper Itay Arkin.

Shlomi Azulai scored the third goal of the night in the 70th minute, surely setting a local record by finding the back of net with his first touch of the ball exactly 12 seconds after entering the match from the bench.

“We didn’t play a great game, but we did what we needed to take the three points,” said Benado, whose team hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv next Sunday.

“We scored the goals at the right time and controlled the match. Hapoel is a quality side, but so are we and we will be coming to win the game.”

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