(photo credit: Associated Press)
Three days before it opens its Champions League group stage campaign against
Benfica in Portugal, Hapoel Tel Aviv dropped two more Premier League points on
Saturday, drawing 2-2 at Hapoel Acre.
Tel Aviv trailed 2-0 until the 75th
minute, but goals by substitute Victor Mare (75) and debutant Toto Tamuz (84)
ensured the Reds at least returned home with a single point, avoiding a second
humbling defeat just three matches into the season after losing to Hapoel Haifa
in the opening weekend.
“We conceded goals because we weren’t composed,”
Tel Aviv coach Eli Gutman said. “It is not like us to concede these kinds of
goals. On the other hand, the team deserves credit for coming back and coming
close to winning the match. We failed to win because we made mistakes, but
regardless there is no connection between tonight’s game and the match on
Maccabi Tel Aviv overtook its arch-rival in the standings on
Saturday, claiming its second straight victory, beating Bnei Sakhnin 4-0 at
The yellow-and-blue controlled the possession from
the start, but couldn’t make the breakthrough until the 43rd
Roberto Colautti was brought down in the box and Haris Medunjanin
converted the spot kick with ease. Less than two minutes later Tel Aviv doubled
its advantage, with Colautti heading in from close range.
was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the match five minutes
into the second half and the hosts would cruise after that, wrapping up the
emphatic win thanks to goals from Yuval Avidor (83) and Eliran Atar
“We could have won by more goals, but we’re not pigs,” Maccabi
manager Avi Nimni said. “Sakhnin tried to shut us down, but after we got the
first goal we broke them down. We are pleased with the result and with the
Meanwhile, Uri Malmilian’s nightmare start at Betar
Jerusalem continued on Saturday, with Maccabi Petah Tikva beating the team from
the capital 2-1, handing Betar its third straight loss.
Marinkovic gave the hosts the lead two minutes into the second half, but
halftime substitute Samuel Yeboah equalized in the 58th minute and renewed
Betar’s hopes of finally picking up its first point of the
However, Petah Tikva dominated the remainder of the match and
took a deserved three points after Ori Uzan scored from the penalty spot in the
“Our heads are down after losing three straight matches,”
Malmilian said. “We made silly mistakes once again and we must make a change. We
are under pressure but as soon as we get the first victory the crisis will be
Also Saturday, Maccabi Netanya climbed to the top of the
standings, beating Ashdod SC 2-0 at home.
The visitors were always facing
an uphill battle after goalkeeper Dragan Stojkic was sent off 12 minutes into
the encounter, but Netanya only clinched the win late in the match via goals
from Omer Peretz (83) and Orel Dgani (90).
Ironi Kiryat Shmona is tied on
seven points with Netanya after defeating Hapoel Petah Tikva 3-1.
Biton gave the visitors the lead in the 24th minute, but Salah Harsarma (42) and
an Alroey Cohen double (57, 60) gave last season’s National League champion
another three points.
Earlier Saturday, Hapoel Ashkelon drew 1-1 against
Hapoel Ramat Gan, with Eran Levy giving Ashkelon the lead in the 42nd
Ofir Haim equalizing for the visitors six minutes after the halftime
On Sunday, Hapoel Haifa will look to maintain its perfect start to
the season when it hosts Bnei Yehuda, with Maccabi Haifa to go for its
straight victory when it visits Hapoel Beersheba on Monday.