Hapoel Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv can return to the top of the Premier League standings on Sunday
night after Hapoel Tel Aviv was held to a 0-0 draw by Hapoel Haifa on
A win for the yellow-and-blue at Hapoel Beersheba will take it
above its arch rival into first place after the Reds failed to breakdown Nitzan
Shirazi’s Haifa side at Bloomfield Stadium.
After losing its first five
matches of the season, Haifa defended desperately at Bloomfield and had
goalkeeper Tvrtko Kale and referee Eli Hakhmon to thank for its first point of
Tel Aviv was far from spectacular once more, but it
dominated the possession and found the back of the net in the 88th minute, only
to have Omer Damari’s goal wrongly disallowed.
“We didn’t play that well,
but we still reached chances and scored a legal goal,” said Hapoel coach Dror
Kashtan, who next takes his team to Legia Warsaw for its second match of the
Europa League group stage on Thursday night .
“Playing five matches in 11
days isn’t easy and it affected the players. You can’t score in every match and
that’s no tragedy. That’s just the way it goes in soccer.”
took its frustration out on Hapoel Ramat Hasharon on Saturday, rebounding from
Wednesday’s second defeat of the season at Bnei Sakhnin with a 5-0 win at Kiryat
The encounter at Kiryat Eliezer was essentially decided
in the 13th minute when Ramat Hasharon’s Avi Sofer brought down Haifa’s new
Ecuadorian signing Marlon de Jesus in the box, resulting in a penalty for the
Greens and a red card for the visiting defender.
Yaniv Katan stepped up
to convert the spot kick and score his 100th goal for the club, opening the
Haifa fans had to wait until three minutes before the break
to see a second goal, with Taleb Tawatha crossing the ball from the left and
Weeam Amasha heading in his seventh league goal.
Greens defender Sari
Falach ensured the hosts could cruise in the second half after scoring his
second goal in a week on the verge of halftime, with Idan Vered (56) and Ali
Osman (72) completing the rout in the second half.
“Cleary we have been
through some difficult days, but that’s the way it goes at this club after you
lose a match,” Haifa coach Elisha Levy said. “We need to continue as we did
today and I’m sure we will be fine. It was important for us not to lose touch
with the leaders and we made sure of that.”
Betar Jerusalem fell to its
second defeat of the season on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Hapoel Petah Tikva, which
won for the first time.
The turning point of the match at National
Stadium in Ramat Gan came in the 11th minute when goalkeeper Ariel Harush fouled
Or Fishbein in the box and was subsequently sent off.
Yaniv Luzon put the
visitors in front with a cool penalty and just a minute later Fishbein found
himself all alone in the center of the box and had little trouble giving Petah
Tikva a comfortable lead.
Petah Tikva’s Austin Ejide saved Aviram
Bruchian’s spot kick in the 68th minute before Amit Ben-Shushan got Betar back
in the match with a penalty in the 78th, only for the hosts to run out of steam
in the closing minutes.
Also Saturday, Maccabi Netanya came back from a
goal down to win 2-1 at Hapoel Acre. Moshe Mishaelof gave Acre the lead in the
14th minute before Ahmed Saba (32) – in his fourth goal in a week – and Nir
Nahum (76) secured the comeback.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Bnei Sakhnin
On Monday, Maccabi Petah Tikva hosts Rishon Lezion and Ashdod
SC visits Bnei Yehuda.