(photo credit: Betar Jerusalem website)
Betar Jerusalem returned to losing ways on Monday night, conceding a 90th minute goal and stumbling to a 2-1 defeat to Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield Stadium.
After losing its first three Premier League matches, Betar seemed to be getting back on track following its victory over Hapoel Beersheba and draw at Maccabi Haifa.
However, despite taking a 41st-minute lead through Idan Tal, Jerusalem was far from impressive on Monday.
Uri Malmilian’s team was unlucky to concede a 68th-minute equalizer when Pedro Galvan’s deflected free-kick got the better of goalkeeper Ariel Harush.
Betar only had itself to blame for Kestutis Ivaskevicius’s late winner,
though, which sent the yellow-and-black to its fourth defeat in six
matches this season.
“The players sat back in the second half and when that happens you
concede goals,” Malmilian said. “We had rebounded from our poor start to
the season, but we slipped up tonight.”
Bnei Yehuda coach Dror Kashtan was delighted with what was only his team’s second victory of the season.
“We’ve played well this season, but didn’t get the results,” Kashtan
said. “We deserved to win tonight and I’m happy we displayed a good team
Meanwhile, Hapoel Beersheba owner Alona Barkat called for Ashdod SC to
be severely punished for the violent and untimely ending to Sunday’s
match between the teams at the Yud-Alef Stadium in Ashdod.
With the score tied at 3-3 deep into stoppage time, referee’s assistant
Oren Bornstein was struck by an object thrown by the Ashdod fans and
referee Ziv Adler called off the match moments before he was set to blow
the final whistle.
“The incident in Ashdod was very serious and demands a very harsh
reaction from anyone who holds Israeli soccer dear to their heart,”
Barkat said. “We can’t allow for referees and players to be physically
harmed. The Israel Football Association must take a tough stance because
otherwise it will be capitulating to the violent offenders.”
With referee Adler stating in his report that the object was hurled by
Ashdod supporters, it seems all but certain the team will be handed a
technical loss by the IFA disciplinary court.
That would be a painful blow to club owner Jacky Ben-Zaken, who has
worked tirelessly to eradicate violence in the stands, preaching for
fair play at every opportunity.