Local Soccer: Jerusalem held 1-1 by Mac TA

Jerusalem had been on top for most of the first half before Yossi Shivhon popped up in the penalty box to score his eighth of the season and put the visitors ahead.

By JEREMY LAST
March 31, 2008 07:15
2 minute read.
Local Soccer: Jerusalem held 1-1 by Mac TA

Betar 224.88. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)

After totally dominating for the first half hour, Betar Jerusalem let in a surprising goal against the run of play and could only draw 1-1 with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Premier League at Teddy Stadium on Sunday night. Jerusalem had been on top for most of the first half before Yossi Shivhon popped up in the penalty box to score his eighth of the season and put the visitors ahead. Derek Boateng equalized for the hosts early in the second half, but the pressure the home team bore on its opponents did not bear fruit and both sides had to settle for a point. The result will likely make little difference to Betar's march towards a second successive league title, but was crucial for Maccabi's battle against relegation. There was only one team in it for most of the first period. With just under 10 minutes played, an intricate move ended with Idan Tal being brought down on the edge of the Maccabi penalty area. Aviram Bruchian fired in the resulting free kick which sailed over the cross bar, but clearly set out the home team's intentions - there was no way Itzhak Schum's team was going to sit back, it would be attacking all the way. The Betar midfield was far superior to its opposition, with Tal and Gal Alberman first to nearly every ball, and Bruchian wrong footing the Maccabi players in the center of the park time and again. So the Tel Aviv goal, which came in the 29th minute, was totally against the run of play. The Betar back four looked a little unprepared when Rudy Hadad sent in a deep cross to Yossi Shivhon from the right hand side. The striker turned tightly in the six yard box, avoided the efforts of Betar defender Yoav Ziv and fired the ball past Jerusalem goalkeeper Tvrtko Kale from close range. The goal knocked the stuffing out of Betar. While the team retained possession for much of the rest of the half the players lost their accuracy, and the skillful manoeuvres which had been prevalent earlier on all but disappeared. Two minutes later Ziv crossed for Zandberg who turned the ball in only to see the goal ruled offside. Finally the goal came, eight minutes into the second half. Substitute striker Amit Ben-Shushan chipped the ball into the area, Bruchian managed to lay it on for Boateng who made sure of the equalizer with a thunderous close range drive. Maccabi was not out of it by any means and continued to push up on the break. Rudy Hadad had one stunning volley saved by Kale at full stretch. As the half wore on Betar had numerous chances to take the lead, but the ball just wouldn't go in and the game ended in a stalemate.


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