Beitar Jerusalem snaps skid by edging Hapoel Ra’anana

Beitar is on the verge of wrapping up third place in the standings, opening a 14-point gap over Bnei Sakhnin in fourth with five matches to play.

April 19, 2016 02:25
2 minute read.
Nikita Rukavytsya

Beitar Jerusalem striker Nikita Rukavytsya.. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)


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Beitar Jerusalem snapped its longest losing streak of the season on Monday night, beating Hapoel Ra’anana 1-0 at Teddy Stadium after losing its previous three matches.

Substitute Dovev Gabay scored the only goal of the match in the 72nd minute, with his free-kick taking a deflection off the wall on its way to the back of the net.

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Beitar is on the verge of wrapping up third place in the standings, opening a 14-point gap over Bnei Sakhnin in fourth with five matches to play.

Ra’anana remained three points back of fourth, which will lead to Europa League qualification should either Maccabi Tel Aviv or Hapoel Beersheba win the State Cup, as well as finish in the top two.

Beitar was once more without Omer Atzili, who was left out of the squad after refusing to start the game against Maccabi Tel Aviv last week. Atzili is set to face disciplinary action, with arbitration between the club and the player looking increasingly like the likely outcome to the dispute between the sides.

National coach set to be named Meanwhile, the next Israel national team coach could be unveiled on Tuesday, with the final five candidates to guide the blue-and-white to be interviewed at Israel Football Association headquarters at National Stadium in Ramat Gan.

The five-man search committee of IFA chairman Ofer Eini, vice chairman Tamir Gilat, former Bnei Yehuda chairman Moshe Damayo and former national team players Tzvika Rosen and Haim Revivo, has allocated coaches Elisha Levy, Guy Luzon, Eli Ohana, Ran Ben-Shimon and Nir Klinger 30 minutes each to present their case to become the new Israel boss.

Former Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Beersheba coach Levy is the favorite to succeed Eli Gutman and be handed a four-year deal.

The national team doesn’t play its first World Cup 2018 qualifier until September 5 when it hosts Italy. Israel’s hopes of reaching the World Cup for the first time since 1970 were already all but dashed after being paired with former World Cup winners Spain and Italy in qualifying Group G.

Only the winners of each group will qualify automatically, with the eight best runners-up to advance to homeand- away playoffs. Israel will also face Albania, Macedonia and Liechtenstein, and the main target facing the new coach will be to build a side capable of challenging for a place in Euro 2020.

The new coach’s first match at the helm will be a friendly against Serbia in Novi Sad on May 31. The IFA initially planned to hold a training camp in the US between May 27 and June 2 and play a friendly against Jamaica. However, after the option of facing Jamaica fell through, the IFA instead arranged a camp in Serbia between May 27 and 31, the highlight of which will be a showdown with the hosts.

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