Hapoel TA finds groove in season opening W

Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Toto Tamuz scored his team’s first two goals in Monday’s 4-1 league victory over Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Toto Tamuz 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Toto Tamuz 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv bounced back from its disappointing performances in the Europa League in emphatic fashion on Monday night, thrashing Maccabi Petah Tikva 4-1 at Bloomfield Stadium in its Premier League opener.
Hapoel was humbled in its last two matches in continental competition, losing 2- 1 to Liechtenstein’s FC Vaduz before falling 1-0 to FK Ekranas of Lithuania in the first leg of the playoffs last Thursday.
However, Dror Kashtan’s men dominated from the start of Monday’s encounter and their win was never in doubt after Toto Tamuz gave the hosts the lead in the 15th minute.
Petah Tikva was left with 10 men in first half stoppage time after defender Sebastien Sansoni was sent off for bringing down Tamuz, who subsequently scored from the penalty kick, before Omer Damari and midfielder Nosa Igiebor wrapped up the victory after the break.
Hapoel fans had to wait until the 15th minute to see their team score the opener courtesy of Tamuz.
Damari’s through ball found Tamuz in space and the 23-year-old striker took advantage of Petah Tikva’s slow defense and rolled the ball beyond ’keeper Liran Strauber.
Tamuz squandered an almost identical opportunity in the 36th minute, but he wouldn’t need much longer to score his second of the night.
Sansoni foolishly brought down Tamuz from behind, leaving referee Menashe Mashiah with no real option but to point to the penalty spot and send off the Frenchman.
Tamuz easily converted the spot kick in first half stoppage time and Hapoel would cruise after the interval.
Damari scored his first league goal for the Reds in the 58th minute after Strauber spilled Roei Gordana’s shot and Igiebor completed the scoring 10 minutes later with a powerful header from a Hutba cross, with Victor Merey netting a consolation for Petah Tikva one minute from time.
Saturday’s matches between Betar Jerusalem and Hapoel Beersheba and Hapoel Ramat Hasharon and Ashdod SC, which were postponed due to the security situation in the South, have been rescheduled for Wednesday.