Maccabi Tel Aviv's Eliran Atar (center) 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to the top of the Premier League standings on Monday
night, drawing 1-1 with Betar Jerusalem at a wet and windy National Stadium in
A sensational solo effort by Eliran Atar gave the
yellow-and-blue a deserved lead in the 51st minute, but Kobi Moyal leveled the
score 11 minutes later, meaning Maccabi leapfrogged Hapoel Tel Aviv into first
place on goal differential.
“I think we had many chances to score but we
didn’t score and they scored with their only chance from a set piece,” said
Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia.
Betar coach Eli Cohen was happy with claiming
“We didn’t show up, but I’m pleased with the result because
Maccabi was in control,” admitted Cohen.
Around 28,000 fans attended the
match at Ramat Gan, where Betar hosted the contest after being punished to play
two matches away from Teddy.
Maccabi thought it should have been awarded
a penalty in the seventh minute when Dino Skvorc bundled Munas Dabbur over in
the box, but Daniel Bar Natan rejected the yellow-and- blue’s claims.
proved to be the highlight of a drab first half, with Maccabi controlling the
possession, but Betar ‘keeper Ariel Harush never really having to make a
However, it took Atar just five second-half minutes to
spark life into the match.
Atar picked up the ball on the left flank
before slicing towards the box and releasing an unstoppable effort into the top
right corner for his 13th league goal in 12 matches this season.
created little to nothing in the first hour of the encounter, but Moyal made the
most of his chance when he got it in the 62nd minute.
Hen Azriel’s corner
caught Maccabi’s defense napping and Moyal advanced unmarked to the near post to
head in the equalizer.
Also Monday, reigning-champion Ironi Kiryat Shmona
notched up its third straight victory, beating Bnei Sakhnin 3-1 on the
Sakhnin took the lead with the match not even one minute old thanks
to Aleksandar Davidov’s goal, but Kiryat Shmona would turn the encounter on its
head in the second half.
Shimon Abu-Hazeira leveled the score two minutes
after the break and defender Itzik Cohen completed the comeback in the 62nd
Abu-Hazeira clinched the three points and took his personal tally
over the three-game winning streak to five goals with another strike five
minutes from time, also ensuring Kiryat Shmona climbed up to fourth place.