Beersheba, Maccabi Haifa pressure defending champion Maccabi Tel Aviv

The southern Reds received three goals by three different goal scorers to go level on points with Maccabi Tel Aviv, but went into first place due to a better goal differential.

By JOSHUA HALICKMAN
October 8, 2019 00:50
2 minute read.
Beersheba, Maccabi Haifa pressure defending champion Maccabi Tel Aviv

IRONI KIRYAT SHMONA beat Ashdod SC 2-0 last night for its first victory of the Premier League season. (photo credit: MAOR ELKASLASI)

Hapoel Beersheba moved to the top of the Israel Premier League table with a 3-0 win over Hapoel Haifa at Sammy Ofer Stadium over the weekend.

The southern Reds received three goals by three different goal scorers to go level on points with Maccabi Tel Aviv, but went into first place due to a better goal differential.

Barak Bachar’s squad scored a goal just ahead of the break in the 45th minute to take a 1-0 lead when defender Miguel Victor sent the ball right to Eden Shamir, who nodded it home past Haifa ’keeper Jasmin Buric.

Ben Sahar scored off a rebound in the 52nd minute to give Beersheba a 2-0 lead. The third goal came when Nigel Hasselbaink took advantage of critical mistake by Ben Vahaba, who couldn’t properly clear the ball to score from inside the area to wrap up the victory.

“We didn’t play a great game and we could have done things bit more correctly,” said Bachar. “We played a tough tactical team but we weren’t aggressive enough in the first half. However, we improved in the second half. Right from our first training session I knew we had a special team with players who are hungry to learn.

Meanwhile, struggling Maccabi Tel Aviv hosted Hapoel Hadera to a goalless draw at the new Bloomfield Stadium. The yellow-and-blue controlled the tempo and pace of play throughout the contest, but couldn’t find a way past the stingy Hadera defense.

Elsewhere, Beitar Jerusalem visited Maccabi Netanya and took home a convincing 3-0 win with all three goals coming in the first half at the Netanya Stadium.

Levi Garcia sent Gadi Kinda a marvelous ball in the 19th minute that the latter put home into the top left hand corner of Dani Amos’s goal to give yellow-and-black a 1-0 lead.

Garcia once again played catalyst on Beitar’s second strike when he was pulled down by Dolev Azulay in the box good for a Shai Konstantin penalty goal in the 33rd minute. Shlomi Azulay then put home an Ali Muhammad assist for Roni Levy’s side’s third goal in less than 25 minutes Beitar took all three points ahead of the international break.

“I’ve said from the start of the season that this is a new team and it will take time for them to play properly together as one unit,” explained Levy following the match. “All in all we prepared well, but we did have a rough beginning to the campaign. We have to now continue playing like we did today.”

Also, Maccabi Haifa easily got by Ness Ziona 3-0 away at the Moshava Stadium in front of over 9,000 traveling Greens fans. Mohammed Awad was the star of the show for the Marko Balbul’s side, scoring a goal and assisting on another after entering the match as a second-half substitute.

In other action, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Ra’anana played to an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Moshava Stadium, while Hapoel Kfar Saba edged Bnei Yehuda 1-0 on a sixth-minute own-goal.

On Monday, Ironi Kiryat Shmona blanked Ashdod SC 2-0 to climb out of last place.


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