zandberg betar 224.88.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Betar Jerusalem crashed to its first defeat of the season on Saturday night after an 89th minute goal by Maor Buzaglo gave Bnei Sakhnin a 1-0 victory in front of empty stands at Teddy Stadium.
Jerusalem, which only drew 1-1 with Maccabi Herzliya last week, was far from its best once more on Saturday and only had itself to blame for its first slip-up of 2008.
The Stadium lay empty after Bter fans were banned from attending for insulting the Prophet Mohammed during a Toto Cup semifinal match. Betar owner Arkadi Gaydamak stood by himself in the eastern stand and shouted slurs at the Israel Football Association.
"The IFA is an embarrassment," Gaydamak said. "All they think about is their silly interests and I'm protesting against their provocations."
Also Saturday, Hapoel Tel Aviv lost once more, falling 2-1 to Hapoel Kfar Saba at Bloomfield Stadium.
Maccabi Netanya closed to within six points of Betar with a 3-0 win over Ashdod SC. Ironi Kiryat Shmona defeated Maccabi Petah Tikva 2-1 and Bnei Yehuda lost 1-0 to Maccabi Herzliya.
Betar Jerusalem 0,
Bnei Sakhnin 1
Despite controlling the play early on, Betar couldn't create any scoring opportunities and Buzaglo almost gave his side the lead twice in the first 20 minutes.
In the 10th minute the talented midfielder was denied by keeper Tvrtko Kale and eight minutes later his free kick from 20 meters out went just wide.
Jerusalem was the better side at the start of the second half, but was fortunate to not to be down to 10 men in the 57th, after Derek Boateng's dangerous two-footed tackle.
For all its possession Betar never really came close to scoring and Romulo's shot that went just wide in the 67th minute was the team's best chance of the half.
The hosts would live to regret their apathetic play in the 89th minute when a good Sakhnin move was finished off by Buzaglo.
"This is a difficult defeat, but no team finishes a season undefeated," Itzhak Schum said. "We're humans and we also have bad days. It's my job to correct the mistakes and I will do so."
Sakhnin coach Elisha Levy said: "We wanted to win from the first moment and we deserved our victory."
Hapoel Tel Aviv 1,
Hapoel Kfar Saba 2
The hosts missed a golden opportunity to record their second consecutive win, losing at Bloomfield despite dominating the match.
Six minutes into the encounter Tel Aviv got off to an ideal start after Kfar Saba's new signing Bill Gonzalez turned the ball into his own net.
The visitors improved as the match progressed and in the 22nd minute scored the equalizer. Gonzalez was tripped up in the penalty box by Danny Bonder and Ben Luz converted from the spot.
In the 34th minute Tel Aviv striker Fabio Junior missed a superb opportunity at one end and a mix-up in the host's defense at the other end allowed Ben Luz to score his second goal of the match.
The match boiled over in the 64th minute and Kfar Saba defender Douglas da Silva and Tel Aviv player Tal Hen were sent off after pushing each other to the ground.
The hosts continued to dominate the match and in the 88th minute received an ideal opportunity to tie the score. Referee Eli Hahmon controversially awarded Tel Aviv a penalty after Kobi Moyal was adjudged to have handled the ball, but Walid Badier was denied by Kfar Saba goalie Ohad Levita.
"I'm very disappointed," Tel Aviv coach Eli Gutman said. "We did, however, play superbly in the second half and missed chance after chance."
Kfar Saba coach Eli Ohana said: "We were very lucky today. Levita did a fantastic job and he got us the points."
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2,
Maccabi Petah Tikva 1
An injury time goal by Salah Hasarma gave Kiryat Shmona its first win in three matches. Ohad Kadusi gave the visitors the lead in the 12th minute, but Petah Tikva midfielder Liran Cohen was sent-off in the 23rd minute and the host registered a dramatic comeback. Abas Suan scored the equalizer in the 67th minute with an accurate shot from the edge of the box and a screamer by Hasarma two minutes into second half stoppage time secured Kiryat Shmona's win.
"We played superbly in the second half and deserved to win," the host's coach Ran Ben-Shimon said.
Maccabi Netanya 3, Ashdod SC 0
Netanya ended its goal drought on Saturday and mounted the misery on a sorry Ashdod side.
After failing to score in its last two matches, Maccabi was desperate to get on the score sheet as early as possible, but had to wait until the 61st minute to take the lead. Yehiel Tzagai curled in a free kick, leaving Ashdod keeper Yossi Shekel stranded on the goal line. Just a minute later, Tzagai crossed another set-piece and Dele Yampulski headed in his side's second.
In the 75th minute, Alain Masudi was sent off after picking up a second yellow card and 15 minutes later Dedi Ben-Dayan added a third goal with a lob from 20 meters out.
Bnei Yehuda 0,
Maccabi Herzliya 1
Bnei Yehuda's hopes of survival suffered a massive blow on Saturday night after falling to its 10th consecutive defeat.
There wasn't much to cheer about for the fans of both teams at Bloomfield and a single goal by Tcham N'toya in the 43rd minute settled the match.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>