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(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
A 91st minute goal by Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan substitute Dan Roman cost Maccabi Haifa two important points in its race for a fourth straight championship in a thrilling 3-3 draw on Monday night at Kiryat Eliezer stadium.
Haifa seemed to be down and out at half time when it was trailing by two goals after an awful first half display. However, three outstanding goals in the space of 22 second half minutes put the hosts in the lead until the first minute of injury time.
Maccabi remains in ninth place in the table, having only won twice in its first five games of the season.
"The first half was a catastrophe and we paid the price for it," Haifa coach Roni Levy said after the match. "We need to start stringing together some wins. This was a match we had to win at home."
Earlier in the day Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Petah Tikva 2-0 to go third in the table. Hapoel trails first place Betar Jerusalem by three points, but has played one match less.
In Haifa, Hakoach took a surprise lead in the 10th minute of the match after Mor Golan was brought down in the area and Dodi Liberman converted the spot kick.
Haifa failed to create any scoring chances and a lapse in the hosts defense allowed Ramat Gan to take a 2-0 lead.
Yossi Rosen found an unmarked Jeff Aye who coolly slotted the ball under keeper Tom Almadon and gave his team an unlikely half time lead
Maccabi hit the ground running at the start of the second half and after six minutes scored its first goal of the match.
Defender Eyal Meshumar passed one player and from 25 meters out blasted the ball into the top left corner of Hakoach's goal.
The hosts were encouraged by their goal and five minutes later Alain Masudi scored one of the most impressive goals seen in the Premier League this season.
Gustavo Boccoli crossed the ball from the right and Masudi hit an exquisite bicycle kick that left the 'keeper helpless.
In the 73rd minute Maccabi's comeback appeared complete. Substitute Roberto Colautti picked up the ball in the right flank and after cutting into the Ramat Gan box hit an unstoppable shot past the keeper.
But the match was not finished yet.
A minute into stoppage time Hakoch claimed a point thanks to Roman's 25 meter strike.
Hapoel Petah Tikva 0 Hapoel Tel Aviv 2
Both sides were poor for most of the match and Tel Aviv's blushes were only saved by two late goals.
In the 80th minute Ibizito Ogabuna easily headed in Salim Toama's cross and broke Petah Tikva's spirits.
The hosts were unable to muster any kind of fight back in the 90th minute Toama secured the win with a powerful left footed shot from inside the box.
The result left Petah Tikva languishing in last place with just one point from six games.
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