Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder Ben Reichert will be aiming to build on his impressive debut for the team when the Reds visit Hapoel Beersheba on Saturday in Premier League action..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
After getting life without Gili Vermouth off to a winning start, Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Beersheba on Saturday hoping to truly kick-start its season.
The 2-1 victory over Hapoel Ra’anana last weekend, secured in stoppage time thanks to Moshe Ohayon’s stoppage-time winner, was just Hapoel’s second win in the past 12 matches. It released massive pressure and vaulted Hapoel back into contention for a top-six finish and a berth in the championship playoffs.
With five matches remaining in the regular season, Hapoel is only two points behind Ra’anana in sixth place, while holding a seven-point gap over Hapoel Petah Tikva and the relegation zone.
A mere three points separate sixth and 10th place, with Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Petah Tikva in fourth and fifth place, respectively, only three points further ahead.
As part of the Vermouth deal, Hapoel also received Ben Reichert and Sean Goldberg on loan from Maccabi until the end of the season, with the former already starting for the team last weekend. The 20-year-old Reichert received a hostile welcome, being booed by the Hapoel fans every time he touched the ball due to his affiliation with Maccabi.
Ironically, Reichert was hounded by a group of Maccabi supporters during his time in yellow-and-blue after he confessed his love for Hapoel in a Facebook post several years ago.
Nevertheless, he seems capable of blocking out all the distractions and Hapoel supporters will quickly warm to him should he continue to power their team from the midfield the way he did last weekend.
Beersheba will be desperate for the three points as it aims to place a little pressure on Maccabi Tel Aviv and Ironi Kiryat Shoma ahead of their showdown at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday.
A win for Beersheba will move it within three points of Kiryat Shmona and five of Maccabi.
Also Saturday, Menahem Koretzki already faces a must-win match in his debut as the coach of Hapoel Petah Tikva. Petah Tikva can move within a single point of safety with a victory over Hapoel Haifa, but will be at least five points back should it lose.
Elsewhere Saturday, Maccabi Haifa hosts Ashdod SC, rock-bottom Hapoel Acre visits Maccabi Petah Tikva and Ra’anana welcomes Maccabi Netanya. On Sunday, Beitar Jerusalem hosts Bnei Sakhnin at Teddy Stadium.