Hapoel Tel Aviv funny strtches 311.
(photo credit: Martin Meissner/AP)
A 90th-minute goal by substitute Salim Toama gave Hapoel Tel Aviv a hard-fought
2-1 victory over Maccabi Petah Tikva at National Stadium in Ramat Gan on Sunday,
the reigning champion’s third straight Premier League victory.
far from impressive for most of Sunday’s encounter and found itself a goal down
after Tal Ben-Haim’s penalty in the 52nd minute.
However, Douglas da
Silva tied the score less than two minutes later and Toama curled in a free kick
from 25 meters out to take Hapoel within four points of top-ofthe- table Ironi
“Petah Tikva played well and gave us a tough time,” Hapoel
coach Eli Gutman said. “We didn’t play fast enough, but we showed a lot of
maturity by eventually winning the match.”
Petah Tikva coach Freddy David
was heartbroken by his team’s first league defeat since August.
very disappointing,” he said. “We reached enough chances to win the
Coming off Wednesday’s Champions League 3-1 defeat at Schalke,
Hapoel looked tired from the very beginning of Sunday’s encounter and Petah
Tikva embarrassed Tel Aviv’s lethargic defense time and again.
Tikva’s strike force of Omer Damari and Ben-Haim outpaced Hapoel’s slow defense
and the hosts had their chances to take the lead.
Damari was especially
dangerous, coming close after a great solo effort in the 32nd minute before
being denied by a well-timed Vincent Enyeama save in first half stoppage
Petah Tikva would finally get the reward it deserved for its
inspiring play seven minutes into the second half.
Ben-Haim was brought
down in the box by Omri Kende and the striker stepped up to convert the spot
kick to give the hosts the breakthrough.
Petah Tikva’s lead would last
less than two minutes.
Goalkeeper Rubi Levkovich came out poorly for Shay
Abutbul’s corner and da Silva made the most of the mistake and headed in the
Substitute Ben Sahar had a golden chance to win the match in
the 76th minute, but Levkovich got the better of him in their one on one
Damari had a super opportunity to clinch the three points for
the hosts six minutes later, but shot high above Enyeama’s goal with only the
’keeper to beat.
A draw seemed to be on the cards and it would have been
a fair result, however, Toama stepped up seconds before stoppage time and sent
in an accurate free kick to claim a dramatic victory.On TV:
Jerusalem vs Bnei Sakhnin (live on Channel 1 at 9 p.m.)