Eli Cohen's Maccabi Tel Aviv traveled to Maccabi Netanya's "The Box" without injured captain Avi Nimni, but managed to contain Eli Gutman's attacking formation, with the game finishing a 1-1 draw.
"This was a very tough game," Cohen said after the game. "Our team was obviously lacking confidence and we were also missing our main player, Avi Nimni. Despite a poor second half, we managed to hold on and I'm quite satisfied with the result."
Bnei Yehuda humbled Reuven Atar's Maccabi Herzliya 2-1 at Bloomfield. Herzliya is still pointless after three league games. And in the day's third Israeli Premier League game, Ashdod SC came back from a goal behind against Hapoel Petah Tikva and prevailed after scoring twice within the span of three minutes.
Betar Jerusalem faces club legend Eli Ohana's Hapoel Kfar Saba tonight, in a game that will be held at the national stadium in Ramat Gan after police officials did not approve Kfar Saba's Levita stadium due to inadequate security arrangements.
Betar will be without the suspended Derek Boateng and Amit Ben Shushan, who were sent off in last week's dramatic win over Hapoel Tel Aviv at Teddy stadium. Around 15,000 fans are expected to witness the clash, with both teams entering the game with a perfect record of two straight wins.
Defending champion Maccabi Haifa will also be in action Sunday night against Maccabi Petah Tikva, following its disappointing 1-1 UEFA Cup draw against Bulgarian side Liteks on Thursday evening.
The last game of the Jewish year will be played Monday night, when Itzhak Schum's Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Uri Malmilian's Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan.
Maccabi Netanya 1, Maccabi Tel Aviv 1
Netanya took full advantage of the absence of Tel Aviv captain Nimni and struck in the 14th minute.
The Tel Aviv defense failed to clear a long throw in by new signing Dedi Ben Dayan from the left touchline. Former Maccabi forward Ofir Haim was lurking unmarked in the box and easily headed in from point blank range to give Netanya the lead.
But Maccabi Tel Aviv pushed forward and the teams were back on level terms after half an hour of play. Moshe Mishealov, filling in for the injured Nimni, made the most of a blunder in the Netanya rearguard as he unleashed a long-range piledriver which landed in the back of the net.
The teams failed to retain the upbeat tempo in the second half, which was played in a very inaccurate manner. The lackluster second half had very little to offer and the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Ashdod SC 2, Hapoel Petah Tikva 1
Ashdod started the game in poor fashion after team captain David Revivo was ruled out due to an injury. Petah Tikva's Ze'ev Haymovich stunned the home crowd with an early goal in the 26th minute.
But Yossi Mizrahi's side completed an impressive comeback in the second half when Idan Shriki (70 minutes) and Shai Holtzman (73 minutes) found the net and left Hapoel Petah Tikva winless after the first three rounds of the season.
Bnei Yehuda 2, Maccabi Herzliya 1
Bnei Yehuda, looking for its first win of the season drew first blood in the opening minutes of the game after some well crafted attacks.
Former Betar Jerusalem striker Lior Asulin led a quick raid and found playmaker Reuven Oved, who provided an effortless finish to give the hosts the lead in the eighth minute. The oranges doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Haim Malka headed in a trademark Oved corner.
Yohai Aharoni pulled one back in the 74th minute, but Reuven Atar's team was eventually unable to salvage a point from the encounter.
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