Beitar Jerusalem striker Nikita Rukavytsya..
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
Beitar Jerusalem made it three straight wins in the Premier League on Sunday night, beating Hapoel Acre 3-1 on the road to continue its impressive season.
A Moshe Mishaelof own-goal in the eighth minute took the wind out of Acre’s sails and Nikita Rukavytsya doubled Beitar’s advantage in the first minute of the second half.
Branislav Jovanovic gave the hosts a lifeline with his goal in the 53rd minute, but Acre couldn’t find an equalizer and Dovev Gabay put the icing on the cake for Beitar deep into stoppage time.
Beitar maintained its stranglehold on third place, reestablishing a 10-point gap over Hapoel Ra’anana in fourth.
“People keep saying that Beitar is going to slip-up, but it isn’t happening,” said Beitar coach Slobodan Drapic. “Nothing has come easy for us. The guys are giving everything and there is no doubt that the players deserve a lot of credit and we need to continue this way.
“At the start of the season our goal was to reach the championship playoffs, and now our goal is to remain in third place. The sky is the limit. This is a very talented squad and it is fun to coach them and I’m enjoying every day with them.”
Acre remained just one point above the relegation zone.
On Monday, Hapoel Beersheba aims to reestablish a five-point gap over Maccabi Tel Aviv at the top of the standings when it hosts Bnei Yehuda at Turner Stadium.
Beersheba has won 16 of its past 18 matches, picking up 50 of a possible 54 points, with its last defeat coming five months ago.
“We may not have been at our best in recent matches, but no one expected us to play perfectly throughout the entire season,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar. “Bnei Yehuda made life very difficult for us the last time we played them and we could only manage a goalless deadlock. We have three more matches to play before the start of the championship playoffs and none of these games is going to be easy.”