Ashdod SC’s Vova Broun.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Ashdod SC secured its Premier League status for another season on Sunday night, officially relegating both Hapoel Ashkelon and Hapoel Acre, after beating Ashkelon 1-0.
Vova Broun scored the only goal of the match in the 56th minute, with Ashkelon ending the contest with 10 men following the sending off of Rudy Haddad in the 74th minute. The win took Ashdod seven points clear of Ashkelon and the relegation zone with two matches remaining and six points to play for. Rock-bottom Acre is another point further back.
Ashdod was playing for the first time since veteran coach Yossi Mizrahi was brought in to replace Amir Turgeman.
Elsewhere, an Eden Ben-Basat stoppage-time equalizer saw Hapoel Haifa snatch a 2-2 draw against Maccabi Tel Aviv. The yellow-and-blue looked to be heading to a comfortable win when Nick Blackman made it 2-0 with nine minutes to play after Omer Atzili had given the visitors the lead two minutes into the second half.
However, Ben-Basat gave Haifa a lifeline in the 89th minute, and after Maccabi’s Aaron Schoenfeld was sent off, Ben-Basat headed in the equalizer in the 93rd minute.
On Monday, Beitar Jerusalem can close to within just two points of Hapoel Beersheba and the summit of the Premier League standings with a win at Maccabi Netanya.
Beersheba could only manage a 1-1 draw at Bnei Yehuda on Saturday and a Beitar victory will leave it within striking distance of the top ahead of its showdown with the two-time reigning champion at Teddy Stadium next Saturday. Each team will have just three matches remaining after their final clash of the campaign.