MACCABI HAIFA defender Taleb Tawatha 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Haifa effectively clinched the runners-up position in the Premier League
on Saturday, defeating Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2-1 on the road.
week’s surprise 2-1 loss at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, Haifa bounced back in Kiryat
Shmona to open a six-point gap over Hapoel Tel Aviv in third
Hapoel only hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday
and can still end the season level on points with Haifa should it win the derby
and defeat the Greens in their final match of the season next
However, with Haifa’s goal difference vastly superior to Hapoel’s
(28-5), the Greens are already guaranteed to end the campaign in second place
behind only champion Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The 19-year-old Ismaeel Ryan,
making just his second start of the season for Haifa, scored a superb opener
with a curling effort from 20 meters out after less than three minutes before
Alon Turgeman doubled the lead with an easy finish from close range in the 15th
Shimon Abu Hazeira’s goal in the 89th minute was scant
consolation for Kiryat Shmona, which was still reeling from its surprise defeat
to Hapoel Ramat Gan in the State Cup final.
Also Saturday, Pedro Galvan
scored a trademark goal in his final match for Bnei Yehuda, helping the team to
a 2-1 victory over Ramat Hasharon.
Argentinian Galvan, who will leave
Bnei Yehuda this summer after five seasons with the club, netted his 65th league
goal for the team in the 54th minute to open a 2-0 lead following Ben Rahav’s
own goal (43), with Faddy Zidane (72) scoring for Ramat Hasharon.