Yaniv Katan powers Haifa to impressive win

Maccabi Haifa is finally off the mark, securing an impressive 3-0 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

September 30, 2007 01:27
3 minute read.
Yaniv Katan powers Haifa to impressive win

Maccabi Haifa 298.88. (photo credit: AP)


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Maccabi Haifa is finally off the mark, after securing an impressive 3-0 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Saturday at the Bloomfield stadium. The Greens snapped a three game losing streak and registered their first win of the season. Haifa coach Roni Levy was under immense pressure following his team's poor run of form, but made the required changes in time. Yaniv Katan started the game on the bench, but scored two late goals to secure the win. "It was a big win for this club and for the fans," Levy said in a post-game interview. "It's an impressive result, but we have to be more consistent in order to climb up in the league standings. We have many new players who are still learning our system." "People expect Haifa to impress in every game. I'm sure this team is capable of producing such results on a weekly basis. All we have to do is keep working hard and gel as a team," he added. In the other Premier League games, Bnei Yehuda beat Maccabi Herzliya 2-0 and Yossi Mizrahi's Maccabi Petah Tikva defeated Ironi Kiryat Shmona by an impressive 3-1 scoreline. MACCABI TEL AVIV 0, MACCABI HAIFA 3 Roni Levy decided to shake up his starting eleven following his team's disappointing performances this season. Captain Yaniv Katan was demoted to the bench and Lior Rafaelov was not included in the game-squad. Maccabi Haifa failed to create attacks in the opening stages of the game, but were solid in defense. The visitors successfully contained Tel Aviv forwards Avi Nimni and Yossi Shivkhon, who failed to dictate the tempo. In the 42nd minute the visitors stunned the 5,000-strong yellow-and-blue support . Former Tel Aviv star Giovanni Rosso received the ball near the box and passed the ball to Paulinho, who sent the ball into the back of the net. Tel Aviv failed to turn the tide after the halftime interval and was unable to find the spark in attack. Roni Levy felt the time was right to take advantage and inserted Katan into the grind in the 69th minute. The out-of-form striker responded well to the demotion and helped Haifa's cause with a quickfire double. Katan scored his first in the 70th minute with a well struck shot from just inside the box and sealed the fate of the game with his second just six minutes later. HAPOEL KFAR SABA 1, HAPOEL TEL AVIV 1 Tel Aviv drew first blood with a slick counter attack in the 27th minute. Fabio Junior made a swift run on the right flank and crossed the ball towards Reuven Oved, who finished with a strong drive from the edge of the box. Tel Aviv looked to pile on the pressure in the second half, but was left with ten men after Mazua Ensombo received his marching orders following a brutal foul on Ben Luz. It was all one-way traffic after the sending off. The host's hard work paid off in the 81st minute. Samuel Yeboah broke Tel Aviv's offside trap and provided a close-range finish to level the score. Kfar Saba came ahead looking for the winner, but Tel Aviv held on to force the draw. "I'm happy with the way we played, but not with the result," Tel Aviv coach Guy Luzon said after the draw. "We had chances to increase our lead, but our finishing was very poor. I am sure my lads will play better next time and get all three points." ASHDOD SC 1, MACCABI NETANYA 6 Reuven Atar's team opened the game with its trademark attacking style, which paid instant dividends. Amir Taga opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. But Ashdod drew level in the 15th, thanks to a Nir Nahum strike. The Dolphins had no reply for Netanya's offensive performance in the second half. The yellows took the lead again in the 48th minute, when Itai Shekhter received the ball in the box and provided a crisp finish. Netanya kept coming ahead and stunned the hosts with a barrage of goals. Tamir Cohen (59), Shekhter (61), Dela Yampulski (76) and Georges Ba (86) completed the whitewash for the visitors. "I told my players to produce a strong second half and that's what they did," Atar told reporters after the win. "It's a fantastic result and the biggest win of my coaching career so far." This was just a brilliant team effort."

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