Soccer ball (illustrative).
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
This week in the Israel Premier League, Maccabi Tel Aviv blanked Maccabi Netanya 3-0 to get back in the winners’ circle after last week’s rare league loss as the yellow-and-blue was awarded the Championship Plate at the official league ceremony following the game.
Itay Shechter opened the scoring in the 34th minute when he headed the ball past Netanya ’keeper Dani Amos thanks to a perfect pass by Yonatan Cohen. Dor Peretz found the back of the goal for his eighth marker of the campaign with a laser beam from the top left of the box to double the advantage for Vladmir Ivic’s side, while Dan Glezer scored his first goal in a Maccabi uniform during second-half injury time to secure the three points.
Ivic was all smiles following the contest.
“Congratulations to all of our fans for the championship,” said Ivic. “It starts with the players and coaching staff as well as the office staff. It’s all of the people who are around us every day who help us deserve this title. We worked very hard for this.”
In other action, Hapoel Beersheba crept closer to locking up a Europa League qualifying place with a 3-2 win over Bnei Yehuda at the Moshava Stadium.
The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute when Shay Konstantin nailed a magnificent free kick to beat Beersheba ’keeper Ohad Levita. But Barak Bachar’s southern squad quickly found the equalizer just four minutes later when Hatem Abed Alhamid raced into the box and found the far corner of Emilais Zubas’s goal.
Beersheba completed the comeback in the 35th minute as Ben Sahar gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage, while Maor Melikson added a third goal in the 71st minute. Bnei Yehuda pulled a goal back eight minutes later via a Dor Jan penalty, but it wasn’t enough to earn a point as Beersheba escaped with the victory.
Elsewhere, Beitar Jerusalem ended a topsy-turvy season with a 2-1 win at Hapoel Ra’anana.
After a goalless first half, Antony Varenne scored in the 48th minute off a Yakov Brihen corner kick. However, Ra’anana drew even in the 75th minute as Eugene Ansah beat Itamar Nitzan. Just four minutes later, though, Varenne completed his brace to send Beitar into the offseason with a win.
Also, Maccabi Petah Tikva will join Bnei Sakhin in the Leumit League next season after falling to Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-0 at the Moshava Stadium. The defeat, coupled with wins by Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Ashdod SC, will send Petah Tikva down a division for the first time in six years.
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