maccabi tel aviv petah tikva 311.
(photo credit: Gil Korado)
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
“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
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
At Acre, the hosts returned to winning ways after some difficult
weeks, proving once more that their position in the standings is no
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.”
Netanya claimed its first win in six matches on Saturday, defeating Hapoel
Dele Yampolsky scored the only goal of the match in the
74th minute, handing Beersheba its first loss in six encounters.
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
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
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