Local soccer: Hap TA continue to slump

Matters continue to go from bad to worse for Hapoel Tel Aviv with the one-time powerhouse suffering its third consecutive Premier League defeat without scoring a goal.

October 30, 2007 04:24
2 minute read.
Local soccer: Hap TA continue to slump

Maccabi TA soccer 298.88. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)


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Matters continued to go from bad to worse for Hapoel Tel Aviv on Monday night, with the one-time powerhouse suffering its third consecutive Premier League defeat without scoring a goal, losing 2-0 to Ashdod SC at Bloomfield Stadium. Tel Aviv fans called for the resignation of coach Guy Luzon at the final whistle and booed their impotent team off the field. Hapoel, which has yet to claim a win in seven league matches this season, was second best to Ashdod throughout the encounter and faces a real danger of getting relegated should it not improve its play soon. The only comfort for the Reds fans at the moment is that they are kept off the bottom of the table by arch-rival Maccabi Tel Aviv, which is also winless this season. Idan Shriki's superb finish in the ninth minute gave the visitors the lead and Ashdod effectively clinched the win in the 58th minute after Yigal Antebi was sent off and Yossi Ofir scored moments later, volleying in Eyal Almosnino's cross from the ensuing free kick. The hosts pushed forward at the start of the match, but their early enthusiasm quickly vanished and Ashdod soon took control of the game. Alain Masudi's header in the seventh minute went just wide of Enyeama's goal, but the visitors wouldn't have to wait long before they scored the opener. Nine minutes into the match Shriki was left unmarked in the Tel Aviv box and smashed the ball into the roof of the net past a helpless Enyeama. Shriki was a constant nuisance for the hosts' defense and after 28 minutes was unlucky not to double his side's lead. The talented forward was on the end of an excellent team move, but his volley from the edge of the box was well saved by Enyeama. Hapoel eventually managed to muster some decent attacking play towards the end of the first half, but both Walid Badier and Lior Asulin failed to breach Adjei's goal. The hosts got the second half off to an encouraging start, with defender Gabriel dos Santos blasting the ball just centimeters above Adjei's goal in the 51 st minute. Hapoel would, however, lose all hope in the 58th minute of the match when Antebi received his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card and Ashdod scored from the ensuing free kick. Ofir struck and accurate volley that broke Hapoel hearts and rendered the rest of the match meaningless. Ashdod came close to extending its lead several times in the subsequent minutes, but the visitors were more than content with their two goal lead and cruised to their second straight league win.

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