Barak Itzhaki 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Ironi Kiryat Shmona ensured itself at least one more week atop of the Premier
League standings on Saturday, defeating Hapoel Haifa 1-0 for its ninth win in
its past 10 matches.
Adrian Rochet’s superb strike from 20 meters out in
the 73rd minute increased Kiryat Shmona’s gap from second-placed Ashdod SC to
four points, with Hapoel Tel Aviv having a chance to close to within two points
of the leaders should it win at Maccabi Petah Tikva on Sunday.
have only been natural for Kiryat Shmona to experience a letdown after last
week’s impressive victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv.
However, Ran Ben-Shimon’s
club has stood up to every test it has faced so far this season and took all
three points once more on Saturday after another stellar defensive
Kiryat Shmona has maintained a clean-sheet in four of its
past five matches, conceding just three goals over its last 11 league
Ashdod lost ground on the northerners after being held to a 1-1
draw at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon on Saturday.
Amir Nusbaum gave the hosts
the lead in the 15th minute, but Israel Rosh equalized 14 minutes later and
ensured Ashdod extended its unbeaten streak to 10 matches despite failing to win
its sixth straight game.
Meanwhile, Betar Jerusalem is just two points
clear of the relegation zone after dropping to its fourth defeat in five matches
on Saturday, losing 1-0 to Hapoel Beersheba at Teddy Stadium.
point of the match arrived in the 30th minute when Beersheba’s Ohad Levita saved
Amit Ben-Shushan’s penalty with his feet and just moments later Betar’s Avi
Rikan was sent off for a reckless foul on Itzik Vaknin.
scored the only goal of the match in the 83rd minute, heading beyond goalkeeper
Ariel Harush, who was having an excellent game until that stage.
made some significant progress, but there is still a long way to go,” said
Beersheba coach Guy Levy after seeing his team win its third straight match
following a dismal start to the season in which it triumphed just once in 11
There were numerous calls from the stands for the head of Betar
coach Yuval Naim after Saturday’s final whistle, but he still believes he can
lift the team despite only guiding it to a single victory in its last 12
“It would have been a completely different match had the penalty
gone in,” Naim said. “We need to remain positive.
We will strengthen the
team and we will stay in the top flight.
“I’m sure I can bring about a
I will stay as long as Betar wants me and as long as I think I
Maccabi Tel Aviv finally returned to winning ways on Saturday,
claiming its first win in seven league matches with a 1-0 victory over Hapoel
Petah Tikva at Bloomfield Stadium thanks to Barak Itzhaki’s 10th minute
Bnei Sakhnin moved up to fourth place on Saturday, defeating Hapoel
Rishon Lezion 1-0 courtesy of Ohad Kadusi’s sixth minute strike.
Saturday, Bnei Yehuda unexpectedly hit top form, scoring four goals in 19 second
half minutes to claim a 4-1 win over Hapoel Acre at Bloomfield.
Galvan (62), Dino Ndlovu (66) and Amir Agajev (70, 80) scored for the winners,
with Stefan Scepovic netting a consolation penalty (78) for Acre.