Haifa Derby 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Haifa held Maccabi Haifa to a 0-0 draw at Kiryat Eliezer on Monday night,
extending its unbeaten streak to five Premier League matches while denying its
bitter rival a chance to move tied on points with top-of-the-table Ironi Kiryat
Hapoel ended a seven-match losing streak against the Greens with
a goalless draw when the teams last met last season, and Monday’s result means
that it has avoided defeat to its illustrious opponent on two consecutive
encounters for the first time since 2001.
“We did everything we could to
win,” said Maccabi coach Elisha Levy, whose team hasn’t won consecutive matches
since the first two weeks of the season.
“It is very difficult to play
against such a defensive setup, but that is no excuse.
Despite dropping two points, Levy remains confident
Maccabi can challenge for the championship.
“The title race is wide
open,” he said.
“We are well placed towards the top of the standings. I’m
not pleased with the way we are playing, but considering the circumstances, we
are very close to where we want to be in the table.”
The Greens knew an
early goal would be of crucial importance and they very nearly got their
In the sixth minute, Mohammad Ghadir shot straight at ’keeper
Tvrtko Kale and moments later Yaniv Katan’s attempt flew just over the Hapoel
However, the visitors asserted themselves as the match
progressed and deserved to have the lead at the break.
came close in the seventh minute, but the best chance of the first half would
fall to Hanan Maman 25 minutes later.
The son of Maccabi legend Baruch
Maman found himself with only goalkeeper Nir Davidovich to beat, but he failed
in the relatively simple task of slotting the ball into the back of the net and
the hosts were spared.
Two minutes later, Katan came centimeters from
giving Maccabi the lead, but his shot with the outside of his right foot slammed
off the crossbar, and the half would end in a goalless deadlock.
minutes after the break Davidovich had to fully stretch himself once more to
keep out Ben-Basat’s dangerous free kick, but Maccabi began to dominate as the
match progressed, eventually seizing complete control of the
However, for all their possession, the Greens rarely threatened
Kale’s goal, with Hapoel’s defense successfully repelling Maccabi’s
Maccabi fans had to wait until the 72nd minute before seeing
Katan register the Greens’ first real shot towards goal in the second half, but
the ball was well off target.
The hosts continued to pile the pressure in
the remainder of the game, but to no avail, with Hapoel comfortably holding on
for an important point.