(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Roni Levy’s tenure at Betar Jerusalem started off on the right foot on Saturday,
while Maccabi Haifa returned to the top of the Premier League standings and
Maccabi Tel Aviv won once more under Moti Ivanir’s guidance.
triumphed just once in Uri Malmilian’s final five matches in charge, losing its
last two, but it came back from a goal down to win at Hapoel Beersheba on
Saturday, claiming a 2-1 victory to give its new coach an ideal start to his
“This is a very important win,” Levy said. “Betar is a massive
club and I didn’t think twice about coming aboard. I didn’t care about the
team’s situation and its place in the bottom half of the standings.
knew I had players to work with here.”
After having its six-match winning
streak snapped by Beersheba last week, Haifa returned to winning ways on
Saturday, beating Bnei Yehuda 1-0 at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium through Vladimir
Dvalishvili’s 41st minute goal.
“Unlike the match against Beersheba, we
played well tonight,” said Haifa coach Elisha Levy, who will hope that Hapoel
Tel Aviv slips up at Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Monday so the Greens can stay in
first position for more than just 48 hours. “We had to work hard for the win,
but we moved the ball nicely and it is a shame we didn’t score more than one
goal and finish the match earlier.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv is just six points
back of Haifa, winning its second straight match under Ivanir’s guidance,
thrashing Ashdod SC 4-1 at Bloomfield Stadium.
The yellow-and-blue got
the match off to a good start, but had to wait until the 40th minute to take the
lead, with Eliran Atar pouncing on goalkeeper Yossi Shekel’s poor save to tuck
in the opener.
Maccabi thought it had clinched the win in the 59th minute
when Avi Strul deflected Maor Buzaglo’s shot into the back of the net. But just
two minutes later, Efe Ambrose got onw back for Ashdod, capitalizing on Liran
However, Buzaglo scored with a superb volley in the
73rd minute and Haris Medunjanin wrapped up the win five minutes from time,
missing a penalty, but scoring from the rebound.
“We scored four and
could have scored four more,” said Ivanir, who could not have hoped for a better
home debut as Maccabi coach.
The match in Beersheba was preceded by
violent incidents between both sets of supporters, with one Betar fan being
stabbed and moderately wounded just outside the Soroka Medical
The hosts were hoping to give midfielder Maor Melikson a winning
farewell before he completes his move to Wisla Krakow, and they had the lead at
the break, with David Revivo’s free kick in the 43rd minute deceiving everyone
and flying into the back of the net.
However, Betar finally showed the
fighting spirit it so desperately lacked under Malmilian, scoring twice in 11
second- half minutes to clinch a crucial win.
Idan Tal equalized in the
58th minute with a super strike from 25 meters out before Cristian Gonzalez
easily slotted in the winner (69) after Moshe Mishaelof’s header struck the
Ohad Kadusi scored a hat-trick for Hapoel Petah Tikva on
Saturday, but it was only enough to claim a 3-3 draw at Maccabi
Netanya scored the opener through Nir Nahum (11), but three
goals by Kadusi in the first half (15, 34, 42) gave the visitors a promising
lead at the break.
However, Kobi Djani gave Netanya some hope with a goal
five minutes into the second half and Dele Yampolsky (63) ensured Reuven Atar’s
men ended the match with a point.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Acre and Hapoel
Ramat Gan drew 0-0, with the match between Hapoel Ashkelon and Hapoel Haifa also
Maccabi Petah Tikva hosts Bnei Sakhnin on Sunday.