Hapoel Tel Aviv overtook Maccabi Tel Aviv for first place in the Premier League
standings on Wednesday night as the yellow-and-blue suffered a shock 3-1 defeat
at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, while Maccabi Haifa dropped to yet another
Hapoel left it until late before defeating Hapoel Beersheba 2-0 at
Bloomfield Stadium, but the Reds were delighted to pick up all three points,
especially after hearing that their arch-rival lost its 100 percent record,
falling to a surprise defeat at Ramat Hasharon.
“We dominated the
possession, but Ramat Hasharon knows it is an inferior team compared to us and
they only tried to disrupt our play tonight,” Maccabi coach Moti Ivanir
“We should have played much better and won by three of four goals,
but we couldn’t do that. However, there is no need to get worked up about this
loss. We need to remain calm and already focus on our next match.”
would love to be in Maccabi’s situation after it lost 2-0 at Bnei Sakhnin on
Wednesday. Maharan Radi scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season (44, 70)
and gave the hosts a deserved victory over the reigning champion.
is no excuse for our performance tonight,” Haifa coach Elisha Levy said. “I’m
far more worried with our performance and not the result.”
Aviv got off to the worst possible start at the Winter Stadium.
Nivaldo fell to the ground injured near the byline and Ramat Hasharon took full
advantage, with Tomer Swisa netting the opener with the match just two minutes
The yellow-and-blue dominated the possession throughout almost all
the encounter, but Ramat Hasharon wouldn’t squander its few chances and took a
2-0 lead in the 29th minute.
Gal Lifka picked up the ball well inside his
own half and surged down the right flank before picking out Baruch Dego on the
edge of the box, who put all his heart in his stunning shot that gave ’keeper
Guy Haimov no chance.
Maccabi found no way past Ramat Hasharon’s
defensive formation and the yellow-and-blue was in real trouble in the 63rd
minute when Nivaldo was harshly sent off for blocking Oscar
Substitute Moussa Konate got one goal back for Tel Aviv in the
77th minute, but Moshe Abutbul clinched the biggest win in Ramat Hasharon’s
history in stoppage time.
At Bloomfield, Hapoel struggled to break down
Beersheba’s defense and the visitors very nearly scored on the break, with Yosef
Abu-Laban squandering a golden opportunity in the 82nd minute.
would of course live to rue its miss and the Reds showed their character once
more, with Bevan Fransman heading the hosts into the lead in the 85th minute
from a Shay Abutbul cross and Salim Toama securing all three points with a
left-footed free kick in the 90th minute.
“It is very difficult to play
against a team that defends with nine players,” Hapoel coach Dror Kashtan said.
“We played with a lot of patience and controlled most of the match. But they
defended well and closed us down.
However, our patience eventually paid
off and we secured the win.”
Beersheba coach Nir Klinger was bitterly
disappointed after the painful defeat.
“This is a stupid loss,” he said.
“We did everything right and even could have scored a goal. But we couldn’t
capitalize on our chances and paid the price at the other end.
our results are poor and we aren’t playing great, but I believe in this team and
I have never given up in my life.”
This will be of little consolation for
Klinger and Beersheba, but Hapoel Haifa is also still searching for its first
point of the season after dropping to a 4-2 defeat to Hapoel Acre on
Nicolas Falczuk (16) and Sintiyahu Salalik (22) gave Acre what
should have been a comfortable lead at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium, but an Eran Levy
penalty in the 33rd minute in his first match back after falling out with coach
Nitzan Shirazi and Edi Gottlieb’s own goal four minutes into the second half
gave Haifa fans hope of seeing their team pick up a point.
Falczuk would go on to complete his hat-trick with two more goals in the 63rd
and 80th minutes, giving Acre its third win of the season and piling even more
pressure on Haifa, which visits Hapoel Tel Aviv on Saturday.
Jerusalem took a 53rd minute lead at Maccabi Netanya following a nice finish by
Amit Ben-Shushan, but Ahmed Saba equalized for the hosts eight minutes later and
the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Maccabi Petah Tikva also finds itself not
far from the top of the standings after coming back from a goal down to beat
Ashdod SC 3-1 on the road thanks to three goals in the final eight minutes of
Nir Biton gave the hosts the lead in the 60th minute, only for
Nitzan Damari (82), Tal Ma’abi (87) and Tal Ben-Haim (90) to complete a dramatic
comeback for Petah Tikva.
Also Wednesday, Bnei Yehuda won 1-0 at Hapoel
Petah Tikva courtesy of Israel Zaguri’s 24th minute winner, while Ironi Kiryat
Shmona and Hapoel Rishon Lezion drew 1-1, with Justin Zulu (55) scoring for the
hosts and Shimon Abu Hazeira (59) equalizing for Kiryat Shmona.