Maccabi Tel Aviv's Nikola Mitrovic 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Haifa continued its string of unbeaten encounters against Beitar
Jerusalem, defeating the yellow and black 2-0 on a beautiful Haifa Sunday
The win was the club’s 800th since the founding of the State of
Israel and helped ease the pressure on the team’s disappointing start to the
Haifa entered the game with a 12- game undefeated streak against
the visiting Jerusalem club, last losing to Beitar at Kiryat Eliezer back in
However, home has not been a welcome place for Haifa this year, as
it has only a lone victory in the season’s first round and surprisingly scored
its only domicile goals in a 3-1 victory over Kiryat Shmona to open the
Coming into the match, Greens’ embattled coach Arik Benado
received plenty of support from his charges as he went with an offensive lineup
in order to change his fortunes.
Haifa did not disappoint its fans and
management, coming out flying in the first half and producing the majority of
chances before finally breaking the ice on a goal by former Beitar player Alon
Turgeman in the 12th minute off a superb pass by struggling midfielder Ruben
Benado decided to mix up his offense by playing Rayos on the left
side of the pitch, which allowed him more freedom in front of speedy left back
That left Haifa captain Yaniv Katan more of an opportunity
to control the midfield as Hen Ezra roamed on the right side, as opposed to the
The result produced by these changes was total domination by
Haifa in the first half. which ended with a 1-0 Greens’ lead.
half saw more of the same from the two clubs, with Haifa controlling the tempo
but unable to take advantage of its many opportunities until the 79th minute
when Tawatha lifted a ball from the left side into the crowded Beitar box, where
Ezra put the game out of reach with an intelligent shot that reached the back of
the Jerusalem net.
Beitar never came close to tying up the score on its
rare opportunities during the end-to-end action-packed final 45
It was a long night for Beitar coach Eli Cohen’s strikers,
Ibrahim Bangura and Yitzik Cohen, who did not receive service from the midfield
of Bryan Jones, Shay Hadad and Ofir Kriaf, leading to Jerusalem’s first loss in
In other action from Monday, defending champion Maccabi Tel
Aviv drew 2-2 with Maccabi Petah Tikva in a wild and crazy game at Bloomfield
Stadium that gave the yellow-and-blue a share of first place with Hapoel
Eran Zahavi, Maccabi’s star in its 4-2 Europa League victory
over Frankfurt last Thursday night, scored on a questionable 50th minute
Tel Aviv doubled its lead on a terrific strike by Nikola
Mitrovic in the 59th minute off a nice pass by Rada Prica.
Tikva shocked the home side by scoring two goals in three minutes to
The first came in the 75th minute on a bizarre Tel Aviv
own-goal that saw ’keeper Juan Pablo Colinas swat away a corner kick right into
defender Mane’s leg. The tying mark was scored by Petah Tikva on a Diaa Sabia
rocket past Juan Pablo from 25 meters to split the points.