Ironi Kiryat Shmona ’s Roei Kehat (left) battles Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Israel Zaguri for the ball during last night’s 1-0 win for the Northerners in Netanya..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Ironi Kiryat Shmona returned to the summit of the Premier League standings on Monday night with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv in Netanya.
David Manga scored the only goal of the match in the 42nd minute, heading in the winner from close range.
Kiryat Shmona was on its back foot for much of the night, but required just a single goal to record its 10th win in 15 matches and extend its unbeaten start to the season.
Kiryat Shmona kept its second straight clean-sheet and seventh this season and reestablished a two-point margin at the top over Maccabi Tel Aviv, with third-place Hapoel Beersheba a further two points back.
Barak Bachar’s team can extend its gap when it hosts Maccabi Netanya on Saturday, with the mouthwatering showdown between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beersheba at Bloomfield Stadium not being played until next Monday.
Hapoel Tel Aviv, which was playing without the sick Gili Vermut and Shay Abutbul, remained in eighth place following its seventh defeat of the season.
Elsewhere, Marco Balbul held his first press conference as the coach of Maccabi Haifa on Monday, a day after replacing Aleksandar Stanojevic.
The 47-year-old held his first training session with the squad earlier in the day and will already guide the team when it faces Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Toto Cup final in Netanya on Wednesday.
“I’ve come through a 12-year route to reach this moment,” said Balbul.
“This is an important moment in my career and I’m ready as can be. We will try to return home with the title from a match against the best team in the league.”