Hapoel Tel Aviv's Israel Zaguri 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv moved up to third place in the Premier League standings on
Sunday night, comfortably beating Hapoel Acre 2-0 in Netanya.
struggled to break down Acre’s defense in the first half, with the visitors
quick to close down the Reds, who were hosting the match in Netanya due to the
resurfacing of the pitch at Bloomfield Stadium.
However, Tel Aviv looked
like a completely different team in the second half, clinching the win with two
goals in six minutes.
After maintaining the deadlock with two excellent
saves, goalkeeper Dudu Goresh could to nothing to deny Israel Zaguri the opener
from close range in the 57th minute before Roei Gordana secured the three points
with an accurate volley from the center of the box five minutes
“We are progressing nicely,” said Tel Aviv coach Ran Ben-Shimon,
whose club has now won four of its last six league contests.
that if we can combine a few wins we will be able to show the true
On Monday, league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv will look to extend
its gap to six points when it visits Hapoel Beersheba at Vasermil
Maccabi seems to be strolling to its second straight
championship after opening the season with six wins from seven matches, amassing
a goal difference of 14-1.
With Maccabi Haifa picking up just a miserable
eight points from its first eight games following Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at
the hands of Hapoel Ra’anana and Hapoel Tel Aviv struggling for consistency, the
yellowand- blue doesn’t even seem to have a serious challenger for the
Beersheba would love to carry that mantle and it looked to be
capable of doing so after opening its campaign with four consecutive victories
for the first time in club history.
However, it has picked up just two
points from its three matches since.
“Maccabi Tel Aviv is in the best
form in Israel at the moment,” said Beersheba coach Elisha Levy.
returning to Vasermil and there’s no reason we shouldn’t believe that we are
capable of beating any team.”
Striker Elyaniv Barda, perhaps
optimistically, likened Maccabi to Spanish powerhouse Barcelona.
current rate, Maccabi is the Barcelona of the Israeli league,” said Barda. “But
we are playing at home and we need to get back on track.”
concern for Maccabi coach Paulo Sousa ahead of Monday’s showdown seems to be the
fact that just three days later his team will be hosting Eintracht Frankfurt in
the Europa League at Bloomfield Stadium.
Maccabi is the only team in
Europa action this week that will play in its local league on Monday, with
Frankfurt having a five-day break between matches after losing to Wolfsburg 2-1
in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
“I think Maccabi, myself and everybody
related to Maccabi is completely disappointed to be playing on Monday,” Sousa
said on Sunday.
“The other teams in our group played on Saturday or
maximum on Sunday and I think it is really disappointing as it hurts our hopes
to promote Israeli [soccer] in Europe.”