Mac Tel Aviv coming apart at the seams

Ton Caanen's men were thrashed 3-0 by Guy Luzon's Maccabi Petah Tikva at Ramat Gan's National Stadium.

By SHARON SOLOMON
March 19, 2006 12:47
3 minute read.
maccabi tel aviv 88 soccer

maccabi tel aviv 88. (photo credit: )

Maccabi Tel Aviv is going through one of its worst Premier League seasons in recent memory. Ton Caanen's men provided another uninspired performance and were thrashed 3-0 by Guy Luzon's Maccabi Petah Tikva at Ramat Gan's National Stadium, thanks to an explosive second half. Caanen seems to be on his way out after he directly blamed his players for the loss, leaving very little room for speculation. "The players are not fighting and this is affecting our results," the Dutch coach told reporters after the game. "We have lost all sense of selfbelief and there is no team spirit among the players." Hapoel Kfar Saba stunned Dror Kashtan's Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-1 at Bloomfield Stadium with two miraculous injury-time goals, handing the reds their first home defeat of the season. Kashtan acknowledged the Kfar Saba effort. "This is what soccer is all about," he said. "[Kfar Saba] dominated the second half, created more chances and deserved all three points." Hapoel Petah Tikva's Yossi Shivkhon is turning heads this season. The midfielder singlehandedly orchestrated one of the best comebacks of the season and led the blues to a 3-2 victory against Reuven Atar's Maccabi Netanya. Matchday 24 will conclude Sunday night at Teddy Stadium when reigning champion Maccabi Haifa takes on Luis Fernandez's Betar Jerusalem. The hosts will be without Gal Alberman, who is suffering from back spasms and might be done for the season. Omri Afek is expected to be in the squad and might return to Betar's starting lineup. Maccabi Tel Aviv 0, Maccabi Petah Tikva 3 After a lackluster first half, Maccabi Petah Tikva coach Guy Luzon inserted playmaker Salim Toema. The move paid off just one minute into the second period. Toema led a quick attack that the Tel Aviv defense failed to foil. Omer Golan received the ball on the edge of the box and sent a fierce shot that hit the upright before landing into Guy Haimov's goal. Patrick Suffo, who has not played well recently, made his impact on the game in the 66th minute. The Cameroonian forward cut through the Maccabi rear guard and squared the ball for Toema, who tapped in the ball from close range to double Petah Tikva's lead. Suffo added one of his own in the 76th minute after making the most of a mixup in the Tel Aviv defense. Hapoel Tel Aviv 1, Hapoel Kfar Saba 2 Eli Ohana's Kfar Saba is known for its last minute goals, and it happened again at Bloomfield Stadium. Avi Knafo gave the hosts the lead in the third minute after a blunder by the Kfar Saba defense, but Dror Kashtan's reds failed to build on the first goal. The greens were awarded a free kick 30 meters from Shavit Elimelech's goal. Zoran Rayovic blasted the ball into the left corner to score a dramatic equalizer. Just when it looked like the score had been settled, Shalev Menashe sliced through the Tel Aviv defense and stunned the fans with an elegant finish. "I always believe in my players," Ohana said afterwards. "We were worthy opponents today and deserved the win. Kfar Saba will keep fighting till the end of the season." Maccabi Netanya 2, Hapoel Petah Tikva 3 Shivkhon put the visitors ahead two minutes into the match with a perfectly placed header and Ofer Talker provided the equalizer just two minutes later with a crisp drive from 20 meters. Okocha put Netanya ahead in the 55th minute, after glancing in a precise Tal Banin cross. Petah Tikva retaliated in the 64th minute when Manor Hasan set up Ravid Gazal, who provided a clinical finish to leave Avi Peretz helpless. Netanya sent all its players ahead, but Shivkhon had other plans. The playmaker made a crucial tackle and, after a brilliant dribble, found Toto Tamuz, who sent the ball into the back of the net. In other Matchday 24 games over the weekend, it was: Bnei Yehuda 2, Bnei Sakhnin 0; and Ashdod SC 0, Hapoel Upper Nazareth 0.


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