Sadayev scores Beitar’s only goal in ominous draw

A win would have propelled the team back up to the coveted sixth place and Beitar looked to be heading to a victory.

March 4, 2013 00:16
2 minute read.
Beitar Jerusalem's Chechen player Zaur Sadayev

Sadayev370. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)


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Chechen Zaur Sadayev scored his first goal for Beitar Jerusalem on Sunday night, but the yellow-and-black’s hopes of playing in the championship playoffs suffered a devastating blow when it only managed a 1-1 draw against Maccabi Netanya at Teddy Stadium.

Beitar had picked up only a single point from its previous five Premier League matches, with the turmoil that followed the signing of Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev from Terek Grozny completely derailing its campaign.

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A win on Sunday would have propelled the team back up to the coveted sixth place and Beitar looked to be heading to a victory after Sadayev’s cool finish in the 48th minute.

Around 300 Beitar fans, who have vehemently protested against the signing of the Muslim Chechens, left the stadium after Sadayev scored, while the rest of the supporters cheered the forward.

Sadayev was also given a standing ovation by almost all in attendance after being substituted by Eran Levy in the 74th minute, but several dozen Beitar fans greeted Netanya’s 77th-minute equalizer through Omri Ben-Harush with celebrations, turning against their team.

Netanya came closest to taking all three points in the final minutes, with Ahmed Saba’s shot in the 86th minute skimming the upright.

The draw leaves Beitar in seventh position, bringing it within a single point of Hapoel Ramat Hasharon in sixth ahead of the final weekend of the regular season.

Jerusalem visits league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv next week and will need to avoid defeat and for other results to go its way to have any chance of reaching the championship playoffs.

The league will be split into two sections after next week’s action. The top six teams will play each other twice more to decide the champion, while the bottom eight teams will play each other once more to determine the relegation battle.

“This is a very disappointing result and we have no excuses,” said Beitar assistant coach Jan Talesnikov. “We now no longer depend on ourselves, but it isn’t over until it’s over. We are good enough to be in the championship playoffs and if we don’t make it that would clearly be a disappointment.”

Talesnikov was at least pleased at seeing Sadayev score.

“I felt that love wins and that sport is the important thing and not a man’s religion,” he said of what he was thinking after the goal. “We respect every person regardless of his religion. Those fans who stayed in the stadium are Beitar’s true supporters.”

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