hapoel tel aviv win 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
A Michael Zandberg goal just seconds after coming on as a substitute helped Hapoel Tel Aviv claim its first three points of the Premier League season on Sunday night, with a 3-1 win at Hapoel Beersheba.
After drawing its first two league matches, the pressure mounted on Tel Aviv when Lior Asulin gave Beersheba the lead in the 15th minute.
However, debutant Nemanja Vucicevic equalized quickly with a stunning volley and after Zandberg gave the team the lead in the 58th minute there was only going to be one winner.
Tel Aviv won't have long to celebrate its significant victory as on Thursday it will host Scottish side Celtic in its Europa League group stage opener.
"We began the match poorly, but in the second half we played well and could have scored time and again," Tel Aviv coach Eli Gutman said.
"We are very pleased with winning in Beersheba. It gives us confidence and a good feeling ahead of the match against Celtic."
The hosts burst out of the gates and after just 66 seconds should have taken the lead.
Maor Melikson found Asulin in the box, but the former Tel Aviv striker made a mess of his left footed shot and sent the ball wide instead of into the gaping net.
However, in the 15th minute, Asulin made up for his earlier miss, making the most of some poor defending to pounce and give Beersheba the lead.
Just three minutes later Tel Aviv tied the score thanks to a sensational strike.
New signing Vucicevic latched on to Dedi Ben-Dayan's cross and sent an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net, with Beersheba goalkeeper Tvrtko Kale remaining rooted to the goal line.
Newly promoted Beersheba couldn't maintain its early enthusiasm as the match progressed and the visitors seized control.
In the 58th minute, Tel Aviv got its reward for its dominance when Zandberg scored seconds after coming on as a substitute for Vucicevic.
Gili Vermut threaded the ball through to Zandberg and the midfielder gave Tel Aviv the lead with a cool finish in front of goal.
Zandberg was only on the field for less than 10 minutes as he picked up an injury shortly after scoring and had to be substituted. However, it was of no consequence to the final result, with Tel Aviv clinching the victory in stoppage time thanks to Avihai Yadin's goal.
The third round of matches will be completed on Monday night when Maccabi Tel Aviv plays Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield.