Maccabi Haifa 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Haifa can climb to the top of the Premier League standings with a
victory over Hapoel Acre at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium, but had the Greens had their
way they would not even be playing on Monday night.
The match against
Acre was postponed by 48 hours from Saturday due to the Carmel fire, but Haifa
CEO Itamar Chizik believes that all of this weekend’s league encounters should
not have gone ahead.
“I’m disappointed in the CEOs of the other clubs,
because I’m sure that if they had pressured the Israel Football Association, the
matches would not have taken place,” Chizik said.
“Had the fire continued
we would not have been able to play on Monday.
But the worst is behind
us, and even though the atmosphere will not be like a regular game, the match
will go ahead.”
Haifa, which handed out hundreds of free tickets to
Monday’s match to residents of the Carmel, has struggled in recent
The Greens have won just two of their last four matches, and coach
Elisha Levy is expecting an especially tough encounter against Acre, which
dropped to its first defeat in eight matches last week.
“We feel the pain
of the recent days and this is an awkward situation,” Levy said. “However, we
have our targets and we have a match to play. We need to prepare for it in the
best way possible and do our best to defeat Acre.”
Also Monday, Ironi
Kiryat Shmona, which leads Haifa on goal difference, visits Hapoel Beersheba at
Maccabi Petah Tikva moved into fifth position in the
standings on Sunday, beating Maccabi Netanya 2-0 at National Stadium in Ramat
Defender Sebastian Sansoni gave the hosts the lead in the 35th
minute and Omer Damari clinched the three points 12 minutes from time, scoring
for a third straight week.
Netanya’s fourth defeat in its last five
matches leaves it in 11th position in the table.