Hapoel Tel Aviv against Maccabi Haifa 390.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
After a disastrous week, Hapoel Tel Aviv climbed back to second place in the
Premier League standings on Monday night with an impressive 4-1 victory over
Maccabi Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium.
Hapoel entered the match in a
miserable mood after being deducted three points on Sunday following the
violence of its fans in last week’s 1-0 derby defeat to Maccabi Tel
Haifa, on the other hand, was brimming with confidence and had
second place in its sights after winning five of its previous seven
However, it was Hapoel which dominated proceedings on Monday, with
Haifa’s Idan Vered (48) canceling out Mirko Oremus’s (26) opener only
momentarily before Nosa Igiebor (55, 87) and Omer Damari (90) clinched an
emphatic win for the Reds.
There was little to report until the 20th
minute of the match when referee Meir Levy pointed to the penalty spot to
everyone’s amazement, spotting a handball by Haifa defender Edin
Even Hapoel couldn't believe it had been awarded a spot kick and
perhaps that led to Walid Badier’s poor effort, duly saved by goalkeeper Nir
However, the 1,000 Hapoel fans which traveled to Kiryat
Eliezer despite their team’s depressing week, didn’t have to wait long to
celebrate the opener, with Damari doing all the hard work on the left flank,
leaving Oremus with the simple task of tucking the ball in from close
The visitors continued to dominate the proceedings for the
remainder of the first half and should have extended their lead, with Damari
squandering a chance he would expect to make 10 times out of 10 in the 30th
minute, firing straight at Davidovich with only the ‘keeper to
Haifa coach Elisha Levy made a double substitution at halftime and
the introduction of Idan Vered and Weaam Amasha made all the
Three minutes after the break, Amasha crossed the ball for
Vered, who controlled it with his chest before blasting in the equalizer with
his left foot.
Haifa continued to push forward and it seemed to be only a
matter of time until the hosts would complete a comeback.
Eliezer would go silent in the 55th minute, with Haifa’s defense not coping with
Shay Abutbul’s corner, allowing Igiebor to put Hapoel back in front despite
fluffing his shot from close range.
Igiebor’s goal took all the wind out
of Haifa’s sails, and with captain Yaniv Katan missing the match following his
sister’s passing on Sunday, the hosts had very little to offer.
’keeper Apoula Edel had to be alert to clear Jurica Buljat’s header in the 75th
minute, but he had little work otherwise and Tel Aviv ran riot in the final 10
The visitors needed just four touches of the ball to score their
third, with Edel’s goal kick being sent through to Igiebor via Damari and the
Nigerian controlling it with one touch before slotting beyond
After setting up two goals, Damari also got in on the act of
scoring in the 90th minute, easily firing in his 15th league goal of the season
to bring much needed cheer to a previously despondent club.