Local Soccer: Arbeitman fires Haifa to another win

Local Soccer Arbeitman

By JONNY HADI
November 10, 2009 05:54
2 minute read.

 
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Shlomi Arbeitman must be one of the hottest strikers in Europe at the moment, and with a staggering nine goals in nine league games the Haifa hitman has made huge contribution to the champion's 100-percent record. Once again, the 24-year-old was on target in the Greens' narrow but comfortable 1-0 victory at Ashdod SC on Monday, and the league's chasing pack must be scratching their heads wondering if, when and how Elisha Levy's men are going to start dropping points. Haifa was quickest out the blocks and should really have taken an early lead. Dekel Keinan's 40-yard pass found Lior Rafaelov on the left, and the midfielder cut back onto his right foot before curling in a clever cross to Arbeitman, whose point-black header was powerful enough, but too close to Ashdod 'keeper Dragan Stojkic. Stojkic then had to be alert to hold Rafaelov's first-time shot from Ali Ottman's searching ball, while at the other end, Shai Revivo dragged his effort wastefully wide after being put through by Bulgarian forward Dimitar Makriev. Arbeitman then rose majestically at the far post to meet Ottman's cross, but the ball bounced agonizingly wide of the post. Ashdod came into game in the closing stages of the half, with Ori Uzan whipping the ball across the face of the goal before Revivo's swerving drive was pushed out by Nir Davidovich. The only goal of the game came five minutes after the break. Man of the match Yaniv Katan raced forward with purpose, cut in from the left, and when his cheeky curler bobbled out of Stojkic's grasp, Arbeitman - who else - was there to tap home the rebound. Ashdod had its moments, but was too slow on the break and its passing far too wayward to pose a serious threat to the reigning champion. Substitute Idan Shriki did have a half-chance to equalize though, but he hooked Uzan's cross over the bar at the second attempt. Mohammad Ghadir then had a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0, but after he was sent clear by Rafaelov, the youngster pulled his shot off target. Haifa full-back Peter Masilela then went on a trademark run to the by-line before cutting the ball back to Yisrael Zaguri, but the substitute blazed his effort clear of the bar. In the closing stages, Haifa's Biram Kiyal drove inches over and Georgian striker Vladimir Dvalishvili rattled the crossbar with a free-kick, but 1-0 it stayed, much to the delight of Haifa's noisy traveling fans.

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