After failing to find the back of the net in four of its first six Premier
League matches, Hapoel Tel Aviv took its frustration out on the sorry Hapoel
Ramat Hasharon on Saturday, registering a 5-0 victory, with Itay Shechter
scoring a hat-trick.
Had it not been for Shechter’s wastefulness, Hapoel
would have surely beaten Beitar Jerusalem last week. However, the Reds went on
to lose 1-0 to their nemesis, causing coach Ran Ben-Shimon to declare that his
team never meant to challenge Maccabi Tel Aviv for the championship this
Ben-Shimon claimed on Saturday that his comments were blown out
of proportion and he breathed a huge sigh of relief after his team’s easy win
over rock-bottom Ramat Hasharon.
Gili Vermut gave Hapoel the lead in the
11th minute with his first goal since last December thanks to a Shechter assist
and the striker also provided the crucial pass for Omer Damari’s 26th-minute
Shechter then found the back of the net himself in the 38th
minute before scoring twice more in the second half (73, 83) to complete his
second career hat-trick and silence his critics after last week’s frustrating
Ramat Hasharon lost its seventh straight match since the
start of the season, with its combined goal difference plummeting to
Nevertheless, Ben-Shimon refused to take Saturday’s win for
“I’m delighted because this was a very important win for us,”
said Ben- Shimon. “Ramat Hasharon gave Maccabi Tel Aviv a real hard time before
losing 1-0 last week.”
Hapoel Beersheba came back from twogoals down to
draw 2-2 at Ashdod SC on Saturday.
After beginning the season with four
straight victories, Beersheba has failed to record a win in its past three
matches, although coach Elisha Levy was pleased his team at least avoided a
defeat on Saturday.
A Yero Bello brace (2, 28) put Ashdod in pole
position, but Elyaniv Barda handed Beersheba a lifeline in the 35th minute and
Maor Buzaglo’s clever free kick in the 72nd minute secured the southerners a
Beitar Jerusalem failed to build on last week’s win over Hapoel
Tel Aviv, drawing 0-0 at Hapoel Acre.
The kickoff to the match was
delayed by 50 minutes after Beitar’s bus broke down on the way up north.
Beitar’s build-up play also broke down time and again in Acre, although
Jerusalem can at least draw encouragement from its third straight clean
“We controlled the second half, but couldn’t convert our chances,”
said Beitar coach Eli Cohen. “We weren’t creative enough and the only thing I
take from this match is the point.”
Also Saturday, Bnei Yehuda snapped
its five-game losing streak, drawing 0-0 with Hapoel Ra’anana, with Ironi Kiryat
Shmona and Maccabi Petah Tikva also picking up one point each after a goalless
On Sunday, Maccabi Haifa will look to rebound from Thursday’s
disappointing 3-2 Europa League loss at PAOK Thessaloniki when it hosts Hapoel
Haifa in the derby at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium.
Maccabi Tel Aviv, which
lost 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt in Europa League action on Thursday, welcomes
Bnei Sakhnin to Bloomfield Stadium on Monday.
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