MACCABI TEL AVIV goalkeeper Guy Haimov 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After a sensational start to the season, Maccabi Tel Aviv has lost its way in
recent weeks, and coach Moti Ivanir will find himself with some difficult
questions to answer should it fail to win once more when it hosts Maccabi Petah
Tikva in Premier League action on Sunday night.
Four straight wins to
start the season took Maccabi to the top of the standings, but it has triumphed
just once in its last six matches in all competitions, including its past four
in the league.
A defeat to Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Sunday was followed by
a 3-0 loss at Stoke City in the Europa League on Thursday, but Yoav Ziv, whose
sending off against Stoke for kicking his boot at the referee’s assistant has
become a YouTube hit, believes Maccabi can bounce back at Bloomfield Stadium on
“I took my frustration out on the boot and I was unlucky that it
flew straight at the linesman,” Ziv said. “The best medicine for the defeat is
to win on Sunday and we will have to keep our foot on the gas throughout the
Maccabi Petah Tikva will be guided for the first time by coach
Eyal Lachman, who replaced Marco Balbul.
Also Sunday, league-leader
Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Ashdod SC and Maccabi Haifa hosts Kiryat
On Saturday, Maccabi Netanya climbed into second place, tied on
17 points with Hapoel, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Hapoel
Ahmed Saba gave Netanya the lead in the 52nd minute with his
seventh goal in the past six matches, with Firas Mugrabi scoring 10 minutes
later before Yusuf Abu-Laban netted a consolation (77) for
Hapoel Haifa claimed its first win of the season on Saturday,
beating Hapoel Petah Tikva 1-0 at National Stadium in Ramat Gan thanks to
Vladimir Gluscevic’s goal (12). Guy Tzarfati and Yossi Dora were sent off in the
51st minute after an unsporting tussle.
Also Saturday, Tomer Swisa scored
twice (27, 89) to give Hapoel Ramat Hasharon a 2-1 win over Bnei Yehuda, which
got its goal courtesy of Dino Ndlovu (36), while Hapoel Acre beat Hapoel Rishon
Lezion 3-0 thanks to goals from Sagiv Cohen (23), Stefan Scepovic (58) and
Aleksandar Davidov (90).
On Monday, Betar Jerusalem visits Bnei Sakhnin.