|Betar Jerusalem's Hen Azriel 370.(Photo by: Asaf Kliger)|
After quick goal, Betar draws with Kiryat Shmona
By ALLON SINAI
Avi Rikan gave Betar Jerusalem the lead against Ironi Kiryat Shmona after less than two minutes.
Betar Jerusalem and Ironi Kiryat Shmona played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in
Petah Tikva on Sunday night, keeping both teams within striking distance of a
Betar needed just 97 seconds in Petah Tikva Stadium – at
which it hosted the contest after being punished to play two matches away from
Teddy – to take the lead through Avi Rikan’s header before Sintiyahu Salalik
equalized with a sensational effort in the 17th minute.
moved ahead eight minutes into the second half through Ofir Mizrahi, but Hen
Azriel took just eight more minutes to level the score once more and ensure the
points would be shared.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win,” said Betar
coach Eli Cohen, whose team dropped to sixth place, two points behind Kiryat
Shmona. “This was a wonderful display of soccer.”
Kiryat Shmona coach
Barak Bachar was also frustrated at not returning home with all three
“I’m happy with our play, but not with the result,” Bachar said.
“We should have scored again when we were in front, but we failed to do so and
conceded a goal.”
Also Sunday, Bnei Yehuda climbed up to fourth place
with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Hapoel Acre at Bloomfield Stadium.
at halftime through Ohad Kadusi’s goal (44), with Kfir Edri equalizing in the
77th minute before Pedro Galvan missed a chance to complete the comeback three
minutes from time after Acre goalkeeper Dudu Goresh saved his
However, the hosts would claim all three points nevertheless,
with Sari Falach netting the winner from close range in the fifth minute of
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv will look to return to the top
of the Premier League standings when it visits Maccabi Haifa at Kiryat Eliezer
A draw will be enough for the yellowand- blue to leapfrog Hapoel
Tel Aviv back into first place, but Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia is targeting a
win at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium despite his club’s inability to claim all three
points against Haifa on the road in eight years.
“Haifa didn’t lose in
its last six games,” Oscar said on Sunday. “They have a very good squad and if
I’m not wrong Maccabi Tel Aviv hasn’t won there in eight years. It’s not easy to
win there but we will try.”
Oscar claimed that he is currently
unconcerned with his team’s position in the standings.
“I don’t care
about the table for now,” he said. “I’ll start looking at the table in the last
6-7 games. For now I think it is too early for anything.” Haifa has won three
straight games since coach Arik Benado replaced Reuven Atar and the new boss is
aware that another victory would bring the Greens within nine points of first
place and reignite their championship hopes.
“At Kiryat Eliezer, with our
fans behind us, we want to win this match,” Benado said. “A victory will put us
in a completely different place and change the momentum and the players are
aware of that. I believe that we will record a positive result.”