Maccabi Tel Aviv slips to draw with Maccabi Petah Tikva

Betar’s run comes crashing to a close as Acre dominates in 3-0 win

December 12, 2010 01:45
3 minute read.
ELIRAN ATAR (left) and Maccabi Tel Aviv had a disa

maccabi tel aviv petah tikva 311. (photo credit: Gil Korado)


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Maccabi Tel Aviv missed a chance to climb to the top of the Premier League standings – if only for 24 hours – when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday, while Betar Jerusalem’s three-match winning streak came to an abrupt end at Hapoel Acre.

Tel Aviv was bitterly disappointing once more in a windy and wet Bloomfield Stadium and needed an 82nd minute equalizer from Haris Medunjanin to escape with a point against 10- man Petah Tikva.

“We are disappointed with the result and with the way we played,” said Maccabi manager Avi Nimni, whose team has yet to defeat a side currently ranked in the top half of the standings.

“We lacked patience and allowed Petah Tikva to dictate its style on the game.”

Petah Tikva, which extended its unbeaten streak to five matches, was far from inspiring at Bloomfield, but it took the lead in the 30th minute when defender Sebastian Sansoni was given far too much space in the Tel Aviv box and headed in the opener.

The yellow-and-blue rarely threatened the Petah Tikva goal, and the visitors looked to be in complete control.

However, in the 70th minute, Petah Tikva striker Omer Damari foolishly pushed over Tel Aviv defender Nivaldo away from the ball and left the referee with no option but to show him a red card and give the hosts the boost they needed.

Eight minutes from time, Maor Buzgalo sliced the Petah Tikva defense with a pass and Eliran Atar squared the ball for Medunjanin to slot the equalizer into an empty net.

At Acre, the hosts returned to winning ways after some difficult weeks, proving once more that their position in the standings is no coincidence.

Roei Dayan gave Acre the lead with a header in the 10th minute – his 10th goal of the season – and Hapoel led 2- 0 in the 37th minute after Arafat Djako did all the hard work surging down the left flank before crossing the ball for Maharan Radi to double the margin.

Betar never came close to mounting a comeback, and Acre wrapped up the victory six minutes from time through Mohammed Kalibat, claiming all three points once more after losing two straight contests.

“We showed our inconsistency once more,” Betar coach Uri Malmilian said.

“We didn’t show up to the second half, but now all we can do is look forward to our next match. I believed we would show some confidence after our results in the last month, but Acre was more determined and the team that wants it more is the team that wins.”

Meanwhile, Maccabi Netanya claimed its first win in six matches on Saturday, defeating Hapoel Beersheba 1-0.

Dele Yampolsky scored the only goal of the match in the 74th minute, handing Beersheba its first loss in six encounters.

After six straight defeats by a combined goal difference of 0-15, Hapoel Ashkelon put some distance between itself and the relegation zone, beating Bnei Sakhnin 1-0 through Hanan Fadida’s 63rd minute goal.

Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa defeated Ashdod SC 2-0 at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium thanks to goals from Hanan Maman (29) and Eden Ben-Basat (71), while Hapoel Ramat Gan and Hapoel Petah Tikva drew 1-1, with Dudu Biton (48) scoring for the visitors and Dimitar Telkiyski netting the equalizer for rock-bottom Ramat Gan in the 77th minute.

Hapoel Tel Aviv can move into first position with a win over Bnei Yehuda on Sunday, with current leader Maccabi Haifa hosting Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Monday.

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