Beitar moves into first place with win at Hapoel Haifa

Jerusalem leapfrogged Haifa in the standings after handing Nir Klinger’s team just its second loss of the campaign.

January 9, 2018 07:19
1 minute read.
Beitar Jerusalem striker Gaetan Varenne.

Beitar Jerusalem striker Gaetan Varenne.. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)


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Beitar Jerusalem climbed to the summit of the Premier League standings for at least 24 hours on Monday night, defeating Hapoel Haifa 2-0 on the road with a clinical display.

Beitar registered its third straight win despite being on the back foot for much of the night. Gaetan Varenne netted the opener in the 33rd minute against the run of play and Haifa couldn’t come back after Hen Ezra doubled his team’s lead with a superb strike from the edge of the box in the 58th minute.

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Jerusalem leapfrogged Haifa in the standings after handing Nir Klinger’s team just its second loss of the campaign.

“Sometimes you are the robber and other times you are robbed,” was how Klinger summed up the match.

Beitar moved above Hapoel Beersheba on goal difference, with the two-time reigning champion to return to first place as long as it doesn’t lose to Bnei Yehuda at Turner Stadium on Tuesday.

Also Monday, Bnei Sakhnin defeated Ashdod SC 2-1 in its first match since the firing of coach Felix Naim. Spanish fitness coach Juan Carlos guided the team in Ashdod after Naim became the ninth head coach to be sacked in the Premier League this season. Sakhnin took just 51 seconds to net the opener through Shlomi Azulay. Ashdod would equalize thanks to Mauricio Cordeiro’s acrobatic effort in the 60th minute, but the visitors would not be denied, with Ataa Jaber scoring the winner in the 78th minute.

Hapoel Ashkelon snapped an 11-match winless streak to move five points clear of the relegation zone on Monday, beating rock-bottom Hapoel Acre 1-0 via Sa’ar Benbenishti’s 88th-minute goal.

Beersheba enters Tuesday’s match on the back of nine wins from its past 11 league matches, including five in a row at Turner Stadium where it remains unbeaten since the start of the 2015/16 campaign, a record streak of 41 games.

Maccabi Tel Aviv, which is four points behind Beersheba, hosts Maccabi Netanya on Tuesday. Tel Aviv has won five straight matches over all competitions, a run which began with a 1-0 victory over Beersheba in the Toto Cup final.

Elsewhere Tuesday, Maccabi Petah Tikva hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona.

On Wednesday, Maccabi Haifa visits Ra’anana.

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