The Premier League provided many high scoring affairs, but no real surprises over the weekend. Reigning champion Maccabi Haifa maintained its perfect record and Maccabi Tel Aviv humiliated Hapoel Petah Tikva at Bloomfield Stadium.
Maccabi Netanya 1, Ashdod SC 1
Reuven Atar's Maccabi Netanya entered this match with only six players on the bench due to numerous injuries to key players, and hoping to keep its positive streak alive.
The yellows came ahead from the very start and created many chances up front, thanks to some brilliant passing by Alen Masudi and Tal Banin.
It paid off in the 27th minute. The Ashdod defense failed to clear a lovely Banin cross and Leonid Kropnik, who was lurking unmarked in the penalty area, tapped in from close range to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Ashdod didn't give up and stung the yellows with a deadly counterattack.
David Revivo found Emanuel Oviede, who headed in the ball and scored the equalizer for the visitors in the 52nd minute.
Both teams seemed to be content with a point from the game and the game ended in a rather disappointing draw.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 3, Hapoel Petah Tikva 0
Nir Klinger sent star playmaker Eyal Berkovic to the bench - temporarily - for not heeding the Maccabi Tel Aviv coach's request not to comment on the national team coaching situation.
Petah Tikva provided little resistance and let the yellow-andblue come ahead frequently.
Giovanni Rosso was very active on the right flank and created many chances for the Tel Aviv attack.
Brazilian striker Jose Duarte scored his first goal for Maccabi when intercepted a Rosso cross in the 15th minute and glanced the ball in to give the home side the advantage for good.
Maccabi doubled its lead in the 57th minute when midfielder Blessing Kaku let fly with his left foot from 20 meters, sending the ball to the right corner.
Avi Nimni added one from close range just two minutes later, sealing the fate of the encounter.
Maccabi Haifa 2, Upper Nazareth 1
Reigning league champion Maccabi Haifa survived a minor scare, earning its sixth straight victory of the season. Veteran Alon Harazi broke the club record after making his 397th appearance in green. Yaniv Katan (13) and Idan Tal (67) scored for the greens. Eliran Elkayam scored a temporary equalizer for the visitors in the 63rd minute.
Nazareth's Vladamir Kokol was sent off in the 70th minute.
Bnei Sakhnin 0, Bnei Yehuda 3
In the Matchday 6 opener on Friday, the oranges from Jaffa stunned Bnei Sakhnin and moved further up the standings. Eli Biton (23), Herua Kovacevic (77) and Barak Badash (80) scored for Bnei Yehuda and left the reds pointless six games into the season.
Sakhnin coach Lufa Kadosh was bitter after the game. "The situation was critical when I arrived, but now its getting worse," he said. "The Israeli transfer market right now is not promising and maybe we will have to replace our foreign players."
Guy Azuri's Betar Jerusalem is expecting 15,000 fans when it hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv at Teddy Stadium Sunday night, while Dror Kashtan is expected to bring back Yigal Antebi, Ibazito Ogabuna and Asi Domb into the starting lineup.
Maccabi Petah Tikva, which lost on Thursday to Italian outfit Palermoin a UEFA Cup match host young and inexperienced Hapoel Kfar Saba on Monday afternoon.