Toto Tamuz 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
A 91st minute header by Ben Sahar gave Hapoel Tel Aviv a 2-2 draw against
Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday night, keeping the reigning
champion’s title hopes alive at least until Monday night.
Hapoel took a
fourth-minute lead through a Bevan Fransman header and squandered countless
chances in the second half before two goals by Maccabi substitute Roberto
Colautti within five minutes (71, 76) turned the match on its head, only for
Sahar to come to the Reds’ rescue in stoppage time.
Sahar’s 16th league
goal of the season may have kept the championship shield in Tel Aviv for the
time being, but Maccabi Haifa now needs just one point from its remaining two
matches to clinch a seventh league title in 11 years and will be confident of
getting its hands on the silverware on Monday when it hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona
at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium.
“The match unfolded exactly as we envisioned
but we didn’t make the most of our chances when we had a 1-0 lead and paid the
price,” Hapoel coach Eli Gutman said. “I’m proud of my players for never giving
As far as I’m concerned this has been a wonderful season even though
we might not win the championship.”
Sahar’s goal denied the
yellow-andblue its first league derby win since March 2008, with Hapoel winning
five and drawing four of the nine encounters played since.
“This was an
excellent match and we played very well in the first half even though we were
trailing at the break,” Maccabi coach Moti Ivanir said. “We held on at 1-0
thanks to goalkeeper Liran Strauber and we recorded a comeback, but we couldn’t
claim the victory and that hurts.”
Bnei Yehuda took a significant step
towards securing a Europa League berth for next season on Saturday, thrashing
Maccabi Netanya 4-0 on the road to leapfrog into fourth place in the
Dror Kashtan’s men tore apart Netanya with goals from Aviv
Hadad (13), Shalev Menashe (20), Nenad Marinkovic (51) and Pedro Galvan (91),
handing Reuven Atar’s side its first league defeat in 14 matches.
Yehuda needs one point from its final match against Maccabi Haifa to clinch
fourth position, with Netanya, which visits Maccabi Tel Aviv next week, three
points and five goals back in fifth place.
The battle against relegation
will come down to the final Saturday of the season, with one point separating
A 90th minute goal by Shay Biruk gave Hapoel Ashkelon a 1-0
win against Betar Jerusalem at Teddy Stadium on Saturday, moving it tied on
points with Hapoel Petah Tikva, which could only manage a 1-1 home draw with
Moshe Ohayon scored the opener for Ashdod in the 23rd minute
after missing a penalty, but Ido Aksebrad equalized for Petah Tikva four minutes
from time to keep Gili Landau’s team out of the relegation zone on goal
Bnei Sakhnin climbed above Petah Tikva into 13th place on
Saturday with a 2-1 win at Hapoel Ramat Gan, with Kostadin Hazurov (12) and
Hamad Ganayem (53) scoring for the winners and Zion Zemah (80) netting a
consolation goal for Ramat Gan.
Sakhnin can secure itself another season
of top-flight soccer with a home win over Betar Jerusalem next week, while
Ashkelon hosts Petah Tikva in a direct showdown for a place in the Premier