Hapoel Beersheba midfielder Maharan Radi (center) scored his team’s opener a 3-0 victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Beersheba returned to winning ways and to the top of the Premier League standings for at least 24 hours on Saturday night, beating Hapoel Kfar Saba 3-0 at Turner Stadium.
Beersheba saw its five-match winning streak snapped with the 0-0 draw at Bnei Yehuda last week, but bounced back with a comfortable victory over the newly-promoted Kfar Saba.
Maharan Radi broke the deadlock when he sent his free kick into the top right corner in the 42nd minute, with Shir Tzedek making it 2-0 in the 66th minute, five minutes before Elyaniv Barda scored his seventh goal of the campaign.
Maccabi Tel Aviv can return to first place with a win over Bnei Yehuda in Netanya on Sunday.
“We didn’t play that well against Bnei Yehuda but today we found a solution for Kfar Saba’s defense formation,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar. “It was important to get back to winning ways and we are back in first place. I hope that we will stay there. We have a good team and I think we deserve our place in the standings, but we need to remain modest because the season has just started.”
Beitar Jerusalem’s four-match winning streak came to a grinding halt on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat at Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Idan Shemesh’s clinical finish gave Petah Tikva the lead on the stroke of halftime and Xavier Tomas secured the three points in the 89th minute after Beitar’s David Keltjens was sent off in the 78th minute.
Maccabi Haifa registered two consecutive wins for the first time this season on Saturday, beating Maccabi Netanya 1-0 thanks to Yossi Benayoun’s 86th-minute winner. Four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Benayoun fired a volley into the bottom right corner and silenced the Haifa fans who had been taunting him during recent weeks.
“I love all Maccabi Haifa fans and I’ll do everything so that the club succeeds,” said Benayoun.
Haifa moved up to eighth place after building on the 3-0 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv, but remains only three points off the relegation zone.
“Yossi is a player who knows how to decide matches,” said Haifa coach Roni Levy. “He has done it in the past and he has the character of a winner. We have won two straight matches and that should give us confidence.”
Haifa is one of eight teams which are separated by a mere three points, with Ironi Kiryat Shmona in sixth place on 15 points and Hapoel Tel Aviv in 13th, which leads to relegation to the National League, with 12 points.
Bnei Sakhnin also has 15 points after beating Kiryat Shmona 2-0 on Saturday.
Weeam Amasha (30) and Shlomi Azulay (39) gave Sakhnin its first win after four games, with Kiryat Shmona dropping to its second straight loss.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Hapoel Ra’anana. Snir Shuker (30) and Rene Mihelic (38) gave the hosts a lead which was erased by Maharan Lala’s brace (59, 73) before Mihelic was sent off in the 78th minute.
Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Acre on Monday.