Hen Ezra’S of Maccabi Haifa 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After almost two months without a win and three Premier League matches without a
goal, Maccabi Haifa got back on track on Saturday night, beating Maccabi Petah
Tikva 3-0 at the Moshava Stadium.
Since defeating Ironi Kiryat Shmona in
its league opener way back in August 25, Haifa had gone winless in seven matches
in all competitions, four in local league action and three in continental
In four of Haifa’s past five games, it didn’t even manage to score
a single goal, including in its past three Premier League
However, after recording two consecutive 0-0 deadlocks against
Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Beersheba and being steamrolled 3-0 by Maccabi Tel Aviv,
Haifa finally returned to winning ways on Saturday, comfortably beating Petah
A sensational solo effort by Hen Ezra in the 23rd minute finally
broke Haifa’s scoring drought, with the midfielder picking the ball up at the
halfway line and surging towards Petah Tikva’s goal unchallenged before finding
the back of the net with an accurate finish past goalkeeper Neil
It took just six more minutes for Haifa to double its
advantage, with the unlucky Shmulik Malul heading the ball into his own
Haifa took its foot off the gas after that, but substitute Shlomi
Azulai still scored the team’s third goal in the 78th minute, 14 minutes after
Pedro Galvan left Petah Tikva with 10 men following an unsporting foul on Avihai
“We knew that if we don’t win tonight it might be too late for
us,” said Haifa coach Arik Benado. “We have a strong team and we proved that
Hapoel Beersheba dropped to its first defeat of the season on
Saturday, losing 2- 0 at home to Kiryat Shmona.
Dean Maimoni (17) gave
the northerners the lead and David Manga (53) scored Kiryat Shmona’s second goal
after Beersheba defender Ben Biton gifted him the ball in the center of the
Beersheba ended the match with nine men, with Bojan Markovic (77)
being sent off after receiving a second yellow card and William Soares (79)
being shown a straight red card for striking Ahmed Abed in the
Hapoel Ra’anana also suffered its first defeat of the campaign on
Saturday, losing 3-1 to Hapoel Acre. Ra’anana lost Anthony Nwakaeme to a red
card in the 22nd minute and Elior Syder (24), Guy Dayan (34) and Steven Cohen
(52) scored for Acre before Guy Lipka (71) netted a consolation
Following the losses by Beersheba and Ra’anana, league-leader
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Sakhnin are the only two remaining unbeaten teams in
the league, with the latter defeating Ashdod SC 2-1 on Saturday.
Solari (34) gave Ashdod the lead from the penalty spot, only for Mohamed Kalibat
(50) and Firas Mugrabi (63) to turn the match on its head.
suffered its fifth straight defeat on Saturday, losing 2-1 at Hapoel
Or Osteind (11) and Nebojsa Marinkovic (55) found the back of the
net for Haifa, with Oz Raly (23) scoring for Bnei Yehdua.
Maccabi Tel Aviv can open a three-point cushion at the top when it hosts Hapoel
Ramat Hasharon. Beitar Jerusalem welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv to Teddy Stadium on