Hapoel Beersheba's Dovev Gabay370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Despite trailing 1-0 until the 87th minute, Hapoel Beersheba made it four wins
from four Premier League matches on Monday night, mounting a memorable comeback
to defeat Bnei Yehuda 2-1 at Vasermil Stadium.
Bnei Yehuda went in front
through Oz Raly’s header in the 14th minute, but it settled for soaking up
Beersheba’s pressure after that and paid the price in the closing stages after
it found itself down to 10 men following Kestutis Ivaskevicius controversial
sending off in the 78th minute.
Glynor Plet equalized in the 87th minute
and fellow substitute Nicolas Falczuk scored the winner in the first minute of
stoppage time courtesy of a fortuitous deflection off Bnei Yehuda defender Gal
The last time Beersheba began a season with three straight wins
was the 1974/75 campaign, when it also won its first championship, but even then
it went on to lose its fourth match.
“This is what the fans buy a ticket
for,” said Beersheba coach Elisha Levy, whose team joined first-place Maccabi
Tel Aviv on 12 points. “We showed the potential this team has in the second
half. I don’t think it would be right or realistic to be talking about winning
the championship at this stage. In order to be at the level of Maccabi Tel Aviv
and Maccabi Haifa we still need to prove our strength. I want to see us going to
Haifa next week and playing with ambition and then we will be able to
Bnei Yehuda took the lead in one of the only times it ventured
forward throughout the match.
Raly perfectly placed a header in the top
left corner, with Beersheba goalkeeper Austin Ejide helplessly stranded on the
Beersheba dominated the possession in the remainder of the
match, but Bnei Yehuda limited it to very few scoring opportunities, with the
hosts failing to register a single shot on target in the first
Beersheba coach Levy introduced Plet in place of Maor Buzaglo and
Tomer Swisa instead of Dovev Gabay in the hope of boosting his team’s attacking
options, but it still seemed Bnei Yehuda would hold on for all three
However, that all changed in the 78th minute when Bnei Yehuda’s
Lithuanian midfielder Ivaskevicius was harshly sent off by referee Roei
Reinshriber for unintentionally handling the ball.
Plet headed in the
equalizer in the 87th minute and Falczuk netted the second from the edge of the
box to give Beersheba three more hard-fought points and spark delirium at