Hapoel Tel Aviv will enter Wednesday’s Champions League group match against Lyon
with its Premier League title defense in complete disarray following Saturday’s
4-2 defeat to Ironi Kiryat Shmona at Bloomfield Stadium.
Jerusalem finally picked up its first points of the season, beating Hapoel
Beersheba 5-1 to end a threematch losing streak, while Maccabi Haifa claimed its
third win in four matches, defeating Bnei Yehuda 3-2 at Bloomfield.
losing just one league match throughout last season, Tel Aviv fell to
defeat in just four encounters on Saturday, a mere four days before it
first ever Champions League game.
Wiyam Amashe scored a hattrick for
Kiryat Shmona to hand Hapoel its first league home defeat in over a
meaning Tel Aviv has picked up only four points from its first four
“Clearly Hapoel Tel Aviv has a problem,” coach Eli Gutman said.
“We conceded four goals at home. Kiryat Shmona deserves a lot of credit,
are going through some difficult days. The problems in the management
affect our play. We prepared the team well and I had a good feeling
match. We’ve started the season poorly, but we are a family and we will
Despite last week’s off-field distractions, which included
co-owners Moni Harel and Eli Tabib wrangling in the media about the
operations and Gutman only finally signing his new contract on Tuesday,
got Saturday’s match off to a good enough start.
After 10 minutes, Yossi
Shivhon squared the ball for Itai Shechter, who easily rolled in his
league goal of the season.
However, Tel Aviv’s defense was in shambles,
and after creating several opportunities, Kiryat Shmona got a deserved
equalizer. Alroey Cohen picked out Amashe and the striker gave
Vincent Enyeama no chance with his shot.
The goal galvanized the
visitors, and 11 minutes later Ran Ben-Shimon’s team took the lead.
more Cohen was in charge of the build-up play, eventually threading the
through to William Njovu, who rounded Enyeama to slot the ball into an
Nine minutes after the break, Shechter tied the score with his
second goal of the afternoon and Tel Aviv seemed to be back on
However, Tel Aviv shot itself in the foot in the 67th minute, with
Avihai Yadin’s horrendous back-pass being picked off by Amashe, who
Enyeama to put the visitors back in the lead.
Seven minutes later, the
humiliation was completed, with Amashe smashing in his third-goal of the
from outside the box.
Hapoel defender Douglas da Silva let his
frustration get the better of him in the 83rd minute, stamping on Kiryat
Shomna’s Adrian Rochet and being sent off, compounding the misery on the
“Kiryat Shmona was the better team and deserved to
win,” Shechter said. “We looked bad today, but we need to lift our heads
strong ahead of the match against Lyon.”
At Teddy Stadium, Betar was
desperate to finally take a point under the guidance of Uri Malmilian
and it got
off to the perfect start.
Steven Cohen had space on the right flank and
Amit Ben- Shushan slotted in his cross just three minutes into the
Seven minutes later it was 2-0 thanks to Aviram Bruchian, but Beersheba
to get back in the match after Avi Yehiel’s header in the 39th
However, three minutes later, Ben-Shushan scored his second goal
of the night to ensure the hosts had a comfortable lead at the break,
wrapped up the win in the second half with goals by Idan Tal (54) and
“We played well and we deserved to win,” Malmilian said. “We need
to continue to work hard and time will tell if we will be a top team.”
the late kickoff at Bloomfield, Haifa looked to be in complete control
Lior Rafaelov’s brace (24, 26), but Pedro Galvan fired home from the
edge of the
area four minutes from halftime to give the hosts some hope.
In the 71st
minute, Galvan equalized in stunning fashion, scoring directly from a
kick. However, just three minutes later Bnei Yehuda defender Ivan
foolishly cut down John Culma in the box, and Vladimir Dvalishvili
penalty kick to give Haifa all three points.
Hapoel Haifa dropped its
first points of the season on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Hapoel Ashkelon at
Eran Levy gave the visitors the lead in the 11th minute
before Sasa Stojanovic equalized on the stroke of halftime, only for
to score the winner five minutes after the break.
Also Saturday, Maccabi
Petah Tikva beat Bnei Sakhnin 3-2 on the road, while Maccabi Netanya
drew 1-1 at
Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Hapoel Ramat Gan hosts Acre on Sunday, with the
inform Maccabi Tel Aviv visiting Ashdod SC on Monday.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 2, Ironi Kiryat Shmona 4; Betar Jerusalem 5, Hapoel
Bnei Yehuda 2, Maccabi Haifa 3; Hapoel Haifa 1, Hapoel Ashkelon 2; Bnei
2, Maccabi Petah Tikva 3; Hapoel Petah Tikva 1, Maccabi Netanya 1.