maccabi tel aviv soccer.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv is still searching for its first win of the season after Hapoel Kfar Saba recorded a well-earned 1-0 victory at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night.
Kfar Saba dominated its supposedly superior opponent throughout the match.
Tel Aviv, guided for the first time by coach Nir Levin, lacked urgency and any sort of attacking inspiration. As a result, it finds itself with just one point three matches into the season.
Samuel Yeboah scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute, taking advantage of horrendous Tel Aviv defending to slot the ball home from five meters out.
Unbeaten Kfar Saba has yet to concede a goal this season. It climbs to fourth position in the standings after claiming its second 1-0 victory.
"We were better than Maccabi in every aspect," Kfar Saba coach Eli Ohana said. "We could have scored two or three goals. We've gotten off to a dream start - seven points in three matches, with two of them away from home."
Kfar Saba quickly took control of the match and registered its first shot on goal in the sixth minute. Ben Luz found space just inside the area, but hit his shot straight at 'keeper Dragoslav Jevric.
Tel Aviv failed to threaten the Hapoel goal, allowing the visitors to send more men forward.
Jevric was beaten in the 14th minute, but Yeboah's header was kept out by defender Yuval Shpungin.
Guillermo Israilevich was centimeters away from giving Kfar Saba the lead eight minutes before the interval when his curling shot from the edge of the box sailed just wide of Jevric's right post.
Hapoel was denied a penalty a minute later when referee Moshe Bochbut failed to spot Niso Capiluto's hand ball in the box.
Israilevich had two chances in as many minutes midway through the second half to give his side the lead. In the 63rd minute a Jevric blunder almost cost Maccabi dearly, with Israilevich's shot from 20 meters out hitting the crossbar after the 'keeper failed to control the ball.
The Croatian 'keeper regained some of his lost pride by saving Israelevich's header from five meters out two minutes later.
Kfar Saba finally got the goal it deserved in the 71st minute when Yeboah easily beat Jevric after another lapse in the Tel Aviv defense.
Maccabi had its best chance of the match three minutes later and should have equalized, but substitute Dudu Biton's shot was kept out by the upright.
Kfar Saba goalkeeper Ohad Levita almost gifted the hosts a point in stoppage time when he failed to control Orel Edri's free kick. But the Hapoel defense came to their 'keepers rescue and cleared the danger, securing the team's win.
Matchday 4 of the Premier League will be played in two weeks, since no matches will take place next weekend because of Yom Kippur.