Hapoel Beersheba striker Shlomi Arbeitman scored the only goal of last night’s 1-0 win over Hapoel Haifa at Turner Stadium..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
A stunning Shlomi Arbeitman bicycle kick took Hapoel Beersheba back to the top of the Premier League standings on Monday night, securing a 1-0 win over Hapoel Haifa at Turner Stadium.
The Beersheba striker had gone 18 league matches without a goal before controlling the ball with his head and firing an unstoppable acrobatic effort into the top right corner in the 80th minute, six minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Beersheba moved ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv on goal difference with its fifth consecutive league win, its longest streak since 1996.
“You can’t give a show in every match, even though we controlled the game and had chances,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar. “They closed us down well and you need to know how to win these types of matches as well. This is a very sweet win as it also shows our character. We remained patient until we scored in the 80th minute.”
Bachar lauded Arbeitman’s strike. “This is the goal of the season for sure,” he claimed.
“He really deserved it. He has trained really well but hasn’t gotten many chances this season. I’m really happy for him.”
After a slow start, Beersheba seized control of proceedings in the final 15 minutes of the first half and was unfortunate not to enter the break in the lead. Anthony Nwakaeme’s header was only denied by the crossbar in the 33rd minute, with Maor Melikson’s attempt being cleared off the line by Hanan Maman less than two minutes later. Haifa somehow withstood the blitz, maintaining a clean sheet in the first half despite 15 Beersheba attempts.
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The start of the second half was more evenly balanced and Bachar sent in Arbeitman in place of Maharan Radi in the 74th minute in an attempt to break down Haifa’s bunker.
The substitution paid off almost immediately.
Arbeitman’s sensational strike sent the 15,400 fans in attendance into delirium and deservingly took the hosts back up to first place, with Haifa ending the match with 10 men following Tomer Swisa’s sending off in the 82nd minute.
“The most important thing is that we won,” said Arbeitman. “As soon as I saw the ball in the air I knew that I will try a bicycle kick. I have waited for this goal for a long time and I’m really happy that it came today.”
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