Itai Shechter came back to haunt his former club on Sunday, scoring twice in Hapoel Tel Aviv's 3-0 victory at Maccabi Netanya.
Shechter left Netanya for Hapoel after a prolonged transfer saga over the summer and he looked very much at home playing at his former hunting grounds. The 22-year-old forward gave his new club the lead with a clinical finish in the 14th minute, and after playing a crucial role in the buildup to Samuel Yeboah's strike in the 39th minute, clinched the win for Tel Aviv with an easy tap-in after the break.
"We began the league poorly and I'm happy we have managed to take all three points in Netanya," said Shechter of his team's victory, after Hapoel only managed a single win in its first four league matches.
"I'm happy I progressed to a big club like Hapoel and I hope to continue and prove myself."
Netanya is still searching for its first win of the season, and new coach Reuven Atar, who replaced Nati Azariya last week, admitted there is plenty of work to be done.
"Hapoel is a much better team and it will take time until we start to see results," Atar said.
Shechter, who was superb after coming on as a substitute against Hamburg in the Europa League last Thursday, started on Sunday and terrorized his former team right from the start.
In the 14th minute, he received the ball on the edge of the box before shaking off Bevan Fransman and Klemi Saban and slotting the ball beyond Daniel Lifshits with an accurate left-footed shot.
Tal Ma'abi had Netanya's best chance to equalize 11 minutes later, but his weak effort went wide and Tel Aviv would go on to cruise to the victory.
Six minutes before the break, Shechter broke down the right flank and into the box, and after Lifshits failed to clear his cross, Yeboah pounced and ensured Hapoel would enter the break with a comfortable lead.
Netanya got the second half off to an encouraging start, but in the 61st minute Shechter dashed any hope the hosts may have had of getting something out of the match. Defender Douglas da Silva's shot beat Lifshits, but was cleared off the line by Saban, only for Shechter to easily tap the ball into the empty net.
Netanya completely gave-up after that and Hapoel sailed for the remainder of the match and returned to winning ways.