Hapoel Beersheba’s Michael Ohana and Anthony Nwakaeme.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Beersheba closed back within three points of Premier League leader Maccabi Tel Aviv on Saturday night, registering an emphatic 5-0 win over Maccabi Petah Tikva at Turner Stadium.
Beersheba secured the victory by the halftime break, scoring four goals in the first 38 minutes of the match, which was postponed from October 1 due to Rosh Hashana and Beersheba’s participation in the Europa League group stage.
The reigning champion was playing its first league match in almost three weeks and its players looked starving for some action, coming out with guns blazing against a previously unbeaten Petah Tikva.
Lucio netted Beersheba’s opener after less than seven minutes, with Anthony Nwakaeme doing all the hard work on the left flank, beating two players before crossing an accurate ball for the Brazilian striker.
Nwakaeme made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 21st minute after Dor Alo blocked the ball with his hands.
Michael Ohana scored one of the goals of the season four minutes later, bouncing the ball over Naor Pesser with a backheel before heading past goalkeeper Danny Amos.
Miguel Vitor headed in Beersheba’s fourth goal from Maharan Radi’s free kick seven minutes from the interval and the Portuguese defender wrapped up the scoring in the 77th minute, with Amos dropping the ball right on his head.
“It is a dream to score a goal like this and to win by such a scoreline,” said Ohana, who has impressed since joining from Ashdod SC for a transfer fee of NIS 4.5 million in the final day of the summer window. “This isn’t the kind of goal you work on in training.
It was just an instinct and I’m happy it worked out.”
After handing Petah Tikva its first loss, Beersheba faces the league’s two remaining unbeaten teams in its next two matches.
Beersheba visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona on October 24 before hosting Maccabi Tel Aviv in a mouthwatering showdown six days later.
Barak Bachar’s side will first welcome Sparta Prague to Turner in Europa League action this Thursday. Beersheba will then visit the Czech team four days after the match against the yellow-and-blue.
There was only one Premier League match played on Saturday as the league decided to give the teams another weekend off following the international break in order to complete the resurfacing of their pitches ahead of winter. Full league action will resume next weekend.