hapoel tel aviv 311.
(photo credit: Gil Korado)
Hapoel Tel Aviv closed to within two points of leagueleader Maccabi Haifa on
Wednesday night, defeating Bnei Yehuda 1-0 at Bloomfield Stadium in a repeat of
the match which was called off at halftime on Sunday because of a water-logged
Gili Vermut scored Hapoel’s winner in the 29th minute of the first
half, which was dominated by Tel Aviv. Bnei Yehuda was in control after the
interval, but couldn’t break down the Tel Aviv defense and Eli Gutman’s men held
on for the win.
“We played well in the first half and we are pleased with
the result,” Gutman said. “We dropped back in the second half, but the boys
continued to fight and held on to Gili’s nice goal.”
Bnei Yehuda has now
won just once in its last six matches and coach Dror Kashtan was visibly
disappointed with Wednesday’s result.
“We simply struggled to find the
back of the net,” he said.
“We dominated the second half, but kept
Unlike Sunday’s match when the soaked pitch prevented it from
developing its typical passing game, Hapoel found its rhythm almost immediately
on Wednesday, seizing complete control.
The visitors registered their
first chance with the match less than seven minutes old, with Vermut testing
Dele Aiyenugba from the edge of the box.
Aiyenugba was also all that
stood between Hapoel and the opener in the 19th minute, denying Salim Toama’s
dangerous free kick.
Tel Aviv dominated the possession, but in the 26th
minute Bnei Yehuda came centimeters away from taking the lead.
Baldut’s cross found Ilya Yavruyan with plenty of space in the Hapoel box, but
his header hit the post.
Three minutes later, Tel Aviv took the
Eran Zahavi weaved into the hosts box and laid the ball off for
Vermut to smash in the opener.
Douglas da Silva almost gifted Bnei Yehuda
the equalizer five minutes from the break, but Yavruyan couldn’t take advantage
of the poor clearance, shooting wide of Vincent Enyeama’s goal.
halftime talk seemed to work wonders, with Bnei Yehuda seizing the initiative at
the start of the second half.
Liroy Zhairi should have done better in the
53rd minute when he had time in the Hapoel box, but sent his shot high above
The hosts continued to dictate the pace in the
subsequent minutes but only rarely threatened the Tel Aviv goal.
Biton reached the team’s best chances six minutes from time, but with only
Enyeama to beat, he fired straight at the Nigerian ’keeper.
later, Bnei Yehuda’s Kestutis Ivaskevicus made a mess of a back pass and Vermut
should have secured the three points, but could only shoot wide.
his miss was of little significance, with Tel Aviv holding on for its second
straight win to cut the gap on Haifa.