Yellow-and-blue extends lead atop league

Mac TA crushes Beersheba • Netanya climbs up with victory over Sakhnin • Beitar beats Hadera

By JOSHUA HALICKMAN
December 28, 2018 04:35
2 minute read.
BEITAR JERUSALEM players celebrate their team’s second goal in a 3-0 surprise road victory over Hapo

BEITAR JERUSALEM players celebrate their team’s second goal in a 3-0 surprise road victory over Hapoel Hadera last night in Premier League action. (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)

 
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In Premier League soccer action this week, Maccabi Tel Aviv dominated Hapoel Beersheba with a 3-0 victory at the Netanya Stadium to open up a 17-point gap between itself and the three-time defending champion.

A first-half goal by Chico Ofoedu and second-half markers by Enric Saborit and Avi Rikan sewed up the victory for the yellow-and-blue.

Maccabi began pressing Beersheba right from the get go as Ofoedu took advantage of a poor Marwan Kabha pass to ’keeper Ariel Harush, stole the ball and easily slotted it home for a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute. Saborit doubled the advantage in the 57th minute when Ofoedu saved the ball from going out and sent the left back a perfect pass in the box that he put behind Harush for a 2-0 edge. Maccabi head coach Vladimir Ivic made a pair of substitutions, introducing Avi Rikan and Itay Shechter, who teamed up for the yellow-and-blue’s third goal in the victory.

“We won a tough game and deserved the victory,” said Ivic. “We played the team who took the championship the last three years and who are a strong and tough team. But we showed today that we are the better team and deserved the victory.”

Meanwhile, Maccabi Netanya traveled to the Galilee for a date with Bnei Sakhnin and took home a 2-0 victory thanks to a pair of first-half goals.

Netanya grabbed a quick 1-0 lead when Fatos Beciraj sent the ball into the box from left side and it found its way into the net, going off of Sakhnin defender Ihab Shami for an own-goal.

The visitors doubled their advantage as an active Beciraj blew by the Sakhnin defense and sent the ball right to Gabi Kanichowsky, who put it behind a helpless Mahmmoud Kanadil for the 2-0 win and the three points.

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona and Hapoel Ra’anana drew 1-1 in the northern capital as the sides split the points.

After a quiet first half, Haim Silvas inserted Rotem Hatuel to open the second and the move paid off almost immediately as he put home a rebound to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

However, Menachem Koretzky’s squad found the equalizer two minutes later when Or Dasa’s 16-meter effort deflected off the Kiryat Shmona defense and went into the goal to draw Ra’anana even.

Maccabi Haifa snatched a 1-0 win against Ashdod thanks to Nikita Rukavytsya’s 15th-minute goal and a massive penalty save by Guy Haimov on Dan Bitton’s spot kick to take the three points.

Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv also drew 1-1 at Sammy Ofer Stadium as Nes Zamir scored for Haifa and Ahmed Abed answered for the Tel Aviv Reds to hand each side a point.

Maccabi Petah Tikva and Bnei Yehuda drew 1-1 at the Moshava Stadium. Early substitute Tai Baribo gave Petah Tikva a 1-0 lead via a 40th minute header, but Yarden Shua found the equalizer in 77th minute with a volley from six meters.

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