Hapoel Beersheba and Betar Jerusalem squandered an opportunity to charge up the Premier League standings on Sunday night, drawing 0-0 at Vasermil Stadium.

Betar could have climbed up to fourth place with a win, but coach Eli Cohen was happy to settle for a single point after his team kept its first clean-sheet in five matches.

“This is a very difficult road game,” said Cohen, whose team has lost just once in its past 11 matches.

“Beersheba’s budget is twice as big as ours and we knew they would do anything to win this game.” Beersheba coach Elisha Levy was frustrated at seeing his team draw for the eighth time in 15 games this season.

“I’m disappointed because we should have done more with our chances,” Levy said. “We will take the good things from this game and hopefully capitalize on our scoring opportunities in our next matches.”

Maccabi Haifa visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Monday, hoping to move up to fourth place in the standings, eight points from league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Haifa was in danger of battling against relegation when Reuven Atar was sacked just one month ago. However, the Greens have won all four of their matches since new coach Arik Benado took charge on a full-time basis and last week’s 1-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv revived their title hopes.

It may seem like a long time ago now, but Kiryat Shmona is still the reigning-champion and a home win on Monday will move it to within just six points of first place.

“Kiryat Shmona is a good team and has arguably played the best soccer in the league over the last month,” Benado said of the northerners, who have lost just once in their past seven encounters.

“We are facing a very tough and interesting match. We are giving Kiryat Shmona all the respect it deserves as the champion.”

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