Steven Cohen 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Ironi Kiryat Shmona kept its sixth straight clean sheet on Saturday night to
maintain its six-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings, while
Betar Jerusalem won for the first time in nine matches to climb out of the
Kiryat Shmona defeated Hapoel Rishon Lezion 2-0 at home
for its eighth win in nine matches, extending its unbeaten streak to 18
Shimon Abu-Hazeira, who was much-missed in last week’s 0-0 draw at
Ashdod SC, scored the opener with an accurate effort from 20 meters out in the
17th minute, with Adrian Rochet clinching the three points with his second goal
of the season three minutes after the break.
“Our win was never under any
doubt,” Kiryat Shmona coach Ran Ben- Shimon said. “We could have scored more
goals, but overall the guys are doing amazing things and we will get better as
the season progresses.”
There was further good news for the northerners
on Saturday after thirdplaced Hapoel Tel Aviv dropped two more important points
after being held to a 1-1 draw at Hapoel Beersheba.
Tel Aviv controlled
the match and took the lead through Roei Gordana in the 51st minute, but Ido
Eksbard equalized in the 90th minute after a poor clearance from goalkeeper
“Beersheba didn’t threaten our goal for the entire 90
minutes and their equalizer was not deserved,” said Tel Aviv coach Dror Kashtan,
whose team now trails Kiryat Shmona by nine points after failing to win for the
fifth time in six matches.
“Soccer can sometimes be a cruel
Ashdod SC continues to lead the chasing pack after claiming a
hardfought 3-2 win at Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday.
Ashdod fell behind
to Sebastien Sansoni’s 13th-minute opener at Petah Tikva’s Moshava Stadium, but
Yossi Mizrahi’s side showed true grit by coming back to win for the first time
in three matches and take its unbeaten run to 14 games, remaining six points
back of Kiryat Shmona.
Paty Yeye equalized in the 32nd minute before
goals from Israel Rosh (51) and David Revivo (82) secured the victory, with Omer
Golan’s 90thminute goal of little consolation for Petah Tikva, which has lost
three straight matches and is only four points off the relegation
“We were superb in the second half and could have scored more
goals,” Mizrahi said. “This win proves our maturity and we are already focused
on our next match.”
Betar Jerusalem’s two-month wait for a win finally
ended on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Maccabi Netanya in front of empty
stands at Teddy Stadium.
Betar, which was deducted two points last week
for its fans’ racist taunts, hadn’t won a match since defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv
on November 7, but it picked up all three points on Saturday courtesy of Steven
Cohen’s 86thminute winner.
Cohen took advantage of a defensive melee to
score the opener in the 25th minute, and despite Nir Nahum’s 75thminute
back-heel equalizer, the midfielder ensured the hosts left with all three points
with his second goal of the night four minutes from time.
okay,” Betar coach Yuval Naim said. “Steven was supposed to come off, but in the
last second I decided to keep him on and take a gamble and I’m very happy it
paid off. We have been waiting a long time for this win.
We have still
got plenty of work to do, but the players deserve a good word for this
Meanwhile, Bnei Yehuda thrashed Hapoel Petah Tikva 5-1 at
Bloomfield Stadium to climb to sixth place.
Dean Mori (24), Asaf Ben-Muha
(52, own-goal), Pini Balili (58) and Pedro Galvan (65, 87) scored for Bnei
Yehuda, with Yaniv Luzon (69) netting a meaningless consolation for the
Also Saturday, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s 90th-minute winner gave
Hapoel Acre a dramatic 1-0 victory over Hapoel Haifa, with the Serbian being
sent off seconds after scoring, receiving a second yellow card for taking off
his shirt during his celebration.
On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv welcomes
Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, while Maccabi Haifa hosts Bnei Sakhnin on Monday.