Surging Mac Haifa doubles-up host Hap TA

Greens starting to find form after awful start; Avi Luzon’s son Yitav tabbed to coach Mac PT.

November 25, 2013 04:12
2 minute read.
Shimon Abu Hazeira celebrates after his penalty-shot goal in Maccabi Haifa’s 4-2 win at Hapoel TA.

Maccabi Haifa vs Hapoel Tel Aviv 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)


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Maccabi Haifa finally entered into its first winning streak of the Premier League season on Sunday night by recording an impressive 4-2 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium.

After scoring just eight goals in its first eight matches and winning just two of them, Haifa defeated Beitar Jerusalem 2-0 two weeks ago and took its tally over the past two games to six goals with Sunday’s emphatic triumph at Bloomfield.

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Hapoel went in front after 11 minutes thanks to Omer Damari’s close range effort, but a Branko Ilic own-goal (22) brought Haifa back on level terms and the Greens moved into the lead four minutes into the second half courtesy of Rayo’s superb free kick from 20 meters out.

Alon Turgeman all but secured the three points with an accurate shot from the edge of the area in the 71st minute and Shimon Abu Hazeira scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 80th minute before goalkeeper Bojan Saranov gifted Hapoel’s Ramzi Safouri a meaningless consolation goal in stoppage time.

“To come back from a goal down at Bloomfield is not something which can be taken for granted,” said Haifa coach Arik Benado after his team moved up to eighth place on Sunday, one point behind Hapoel in sixth. “We want to earn our place in the top half of the standings and we hope to continue and extend this winning streak.”

On Monday, Hapoel Beersheba will look to move back tied on points with Maccabi Tel Aviv in first place with a win over rock-bottom Hapoel Ramat Hasharon at Vasermil Stadium.

Earlier Sunday, Yitav Luzon, the son of Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon, was named as the coach of Maccabi Petah Tikva, replacing Moshe Sinai, who quit following Saturday’s 3- 1 home defeat at the hands of Bnei Sakhnin.

Sinai guided Petah Tikva to Premier League promotion last season, but was set to be sacked after the team won just one of its first 10 matches this season and decided instead to hand in his resignation.

“We achieved our goal of gaining promotion and I believe the team will stay up,” said Sinai. “The players are doing their best, but that is not good enough at the moment.”

Thirty-three-year-old Yitav Luzon, who was Sinai’s assistant and guided the club’s youth team in previous seasons, follows in the footsteps of cousin Guy Luzon, who was 26 years old when he was handed the reins to the team run by the Luzon family.

“I hoped this wouldn’t happen after a coach had been sacked, but this is the way it works in soccer,” said the new Petah Tikva coach. “I hope I will be judged according to the results I record. I love this club and it pains me to see it in this situation.”

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