Maccabi TA soccer 248.88.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv doubled its goal tally for the season on Saturday and climbed off the bottom of the table with its first victory of the campaign.
The yellow-and-blue, which lost their last six league matches, failing to score in its last five, defeated Bnei Yehuda 3-1 at Bloomfield Stadium, with Yannick Kamanan scoring twice.
"We played our best match of the season and deserved to win," Maccabi coach Nir Levin said. "We must remember that we have only won one match and that we still have plenty of catching up to do."
The victory takes Maccabi above arch-rival Hapoel Tel Aviv, which dropped to last place after losing 2-1 to Maccabi Petah Tikva. The reds have now lost their last four league matches and are the only remaining side yet to win in the Premier League.
Hapoel hosts Maccabi in the Tel Aviv derby next week in a match that could go a long way to determining how the teams' seasons unfold.
On Sunday, Maccabi Haifa will try and become the first team to defeat Betar Jerusalem this season when it hosts the reigning champion at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 3, Bnei Yehuda 1
Bnei Yehuda was the closer to an early goal, but Tel Aviv scored on the break in the 24th minute. Yaniv Azran crossed the ball for Yossi Shivhon, who scored his team's first league goal in 464 minutes.
The visitors, who have now lost three straight matches, leveled the score six minutes into the second half thanks to Yossi Rozen's deflected shot. The score, however, would not remain tied for long, with Yannick Kamanan giving his team the lead once more five minutes later. The Frenchman easily beat the keeper after Azran's excellent pass sliced through the Bnei Yehuda defense.
Maccabi Petah Tikva 2, Hapoel Tel Aviv 1
Hapoel scored its first goal in four matches on Saturday, but the Reds were condemned to their fourth straight defeat nevertheless. Tel Aviv was the better side throughout the match, but two defensive blunders cost it dearly.
In the 35th minute Tel Aviv keeper Vincent Enyeama gifted the hosts the lead. The Nigerian keeper failed to handle Ismael Amar's shot from 20 meters and parried the ball into his own net.
Walid Badier and Abedi were introduced by Luzon at halftime and Hapoel equalized almost immediately. Petah Tikva keeper Ohad Cohen saved Fabio Junior's shot, but the rebound fell to the feet of Badier who had no trouble shooting into an empty net.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 0, Maccabi Netanya 0
The hosts got off to the better start, but neither team managed to create any good scoring opportunities. In the 62nd minute Netanya midfielder Marius Bundea was sent off after he grabbed Kiryat Shmona midfielder Guy Tzarfati by the neck and pushed him to the ground. Ironi pushed for a winner after the sending off, but Maccabi's 10 men held on and returned south with a point.
Ashdod SC 0, Maccabi Herzliya 1
Herzliya claimed its third win in four matches on Saturday thanks to Maharan Radi's 21st minute winner. Omer Boksenboim found Radi in the box and the midfielder made no mistake with his shot.
In the 37th minute Ashdod forward Nir Nahum struck a superb volley, but the post denied the hosts the equalizer.
Hapoel Kfar Saba 0, Bnei Sakhnin 0
Kfar Saba is still winless at home this season after failing to break down the Sakhnin defense on Saturday night. Sakhnin's Basem Ganaim was sent-off in the 78th minute, but the hosts, which haven't claimed a league win in six matches, couldn't convert their scoring opportunities and had to settle for a single point.