Beitar visits Haifa with European qualification on the line

It was just two months ago that Beitar Jerusalem seemed to be heading for another lost season.

April 5, 2015 00:05
1 minute read.

soccer. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)


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It was just two months ago that Beitar Jerusalem seemed to be heading for another lost season.

Club owner Eli Tabib had just sacked coach Menahem Koretzki after another farcical chain of events, with the team in fourth place but just seven points above the relegation zone.

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However, Tabib’s decision to bring in Guy Levy in his place is so far looking like a genius appointment. The squad is playing better than the sum of its parts and six wins from eight matches have not only secured the team’s place in the Premier League championship playoffs, but have also got Jerusalem well placed to go on and qualify for European competition next season.

Beitar is already guaranteed to end the season in its highest position in five years and can take a significant step towards a Europa League berth in 2015/16 with a victory over Maccabi Haifa at Sammy Ofer Stadium on Sunday.

Beitar can move within a single point of Ironi Kiryat Shmona in third place and open a nine-point gap over Haifa with a fifth straight win.

A third-place finish will guarantee a place in continental competition next season, while fourth will also be sufficient should either Maccabi Tel Aviv or Hapoel Beersheba go on to claim the State Cup as well as end the season in first or second place as expected.

Haifa had its six-match unbeaten streak snapped in its final game before the international break, losing 2-1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv. The match on Sunday will be preceded by a special ceremony honoring former Greens captain Yaniv Katan, who retired last summer.

Maccabi Tel Aviv can take a massive step towards a third straight championship when it hosts Hapoel Beersheba at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday.

The yellow-and-blue enters the showdown with a five-point gap over Beersheba at the top of the standings.

Also Monday, Maccabi Petah Tikva welcomes Kiryat Shmona.

Beitar visits Haifa with European qualification on the line • By ALLON SIN AI Beitar Jerusalem forward Omer Atzili will aim to build on his recent excellent form in tonight’s showdown with Maccabi Haifa at Sammy Ofer Stadium.

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