Leader yellow-and-blue Maccabi Tel Aviv dominates Haifa

“I’m just doing my job,” said Hasselbaink following the contest. “When I entered the game I just wanted to do the best that I could and this time I helped out with a goal and an assist.

December 18, 2018 23:40
3 minute read.
Macabbi Tel Aviv

MACCABI TEL AVIV’S Eliran Atar celebrates his second goal of the game in the yellow-and-blue’s 3-1 victory over Maccabi Haifa on Monday night in Premier League action. (photo credit: MAOR ELKASLASI)


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Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at Sammy Ofer Stadium on Monday night in Round 14 of the Israel Premier League as Eliran Atar scored a brace and added an assist on Dor Peretz’s goal. Sintayehu Sallalich pulled a goal back for Haifa in the second half as ’keeper Predrag Rajkovic starred late in the match for the yellow-and-blue.

Maccabi couldn’t have gotten off to a better start when Atar scored a fourth-minute goal thanks to a perfect cross by Kandil to give the yellow-and-blue a 1-0 lead early on. Vladimir Ivic’s side doubled its advantage in the 42nd minute when Atar scored his second of the contest via a header off a Dor Micha pass as Maccabi took a 2-0 lead into the halftime break.

Peretz began the second half for Maccabi just as the first half began with a goal thanks to an Atar corner kick as the yellow-and-blue took a 3-0 lead in the 47th minute. Sallalich gave Haifa hope in the 70th  minute, but Rajikovic came up big time and time again late in the game to help Maccabi to the three points and the win.

Ivic, the Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach, summed up the win, “We played a big part of the game well. All of the players know that they must give 100% the whole game if they are coming off the bench or if they are starters, and they also understand that they have to be serious and if they aren’t they can be punished. Concentration must be 95 minutes, not 65, 45 or 70.”

Meanwhile, Hapoel Beersheba needed a late Dia Seba goal to complete a 2-1 comeback win over Kiryat Shmona at Turner Stadium in Israel’s southern capital. Visiting Kiryat Shmona surprised the hosts with a 12th-minute goal by Ismail Riyan as he finished off a counterattack led by Valon Ahmedi. Haim Silvas’s side maintained the lead until the 69th minute when substitute Nigel Hasselbaink put home a cross by Ben Bitton to draw Beersheba even.

But Hasselbaink wasn’t finished as the Dutch striker sent a ball in the box to Seba, who easily slotted it behind Dziugas Bartkus for the match winner.

“I’m just doing my job,” said Hasselbaink following the contest. “When I entered the game I just wanted to do the best that I could and this time I helped out with a goal and an assist. I’m happy we took the three points and we worked very hard especially in the second half, we gave it our all.”

Hapoel Haifa traveled down to Maccabi Netanya and took home a 2-1 win at the Netanya Stadium thanks to a late goal by Gabriel Tamas. The hosts took a 1-0 lead thanks to a terrific solo effort by Montenegrin international Fatos Beciraj, who scored his fourth goal of the season. However, Sharon Mimer’s visiting Hapoel Haifa found the back of the goal in 54th minute when Dor Malul sent a pinpoint perfect cross into the box that Ben Azubel headed behind Dani Amos to draw the Reds even at 1-1. In the 89th minute Haifa completed the comeback when Tamas’s free kick deflected off of Beciraj’s head and into the goal, stunning the Netanya fans.

Bnei Yehuda dropped Ashdod 2-0 at the Moshava Stadium and remained 11 points behind first-place Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The hosts took an early 1-0 lead in the second minute when Matan Baltaxa headed in a Shai Konstantin corner, while the aforementioned Konstantin would double the Bnei Yehuda advantage in the 37th minute via a controversial penalty call to take the three points.

Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Petah Tikva played to a goalless draw at Teddy Stadium in the capital. Chances were hard to come by for both teams, though Maor Bozaglo had a brilliant opportunity to score a late winner. But he tripped over Idan Vered’s cross as the sides split the points.

Hapoel Ra’anana defeated Bnei Sakhnin 211 as Or Dasa scored the winner in the 79th minute at Ramat Gan Stadium. After a scoreless first half, Kayes Ganem gave the hosts the lead thanks to a brilliant assist by Yoav Tomer in the 55th minute. An Obeida Khattab penalty in the 76th minute drew Sakhnin even, but 3 minutes later Dasa finished off a tremendous counter to give Menachem Koretzky’s squad three points.

Hapoel Tel Aviv’s frustrating season continued as it drew 1-1 with visiting Hapoel Hadera at the Moshava Stadium. Caio gave the Tel Aviv Reds the lead in the 88th minute beating a helpless Austin Ejide, but Hadera found the equalizer in injury time as Dovev Gabbay headed home a Kevin Tapoko cross to split the points.

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