Eliran Atar 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to the top of the Premier League standings on Sunday
night, bouncing back from its first defeat of the season with a 4-1 victory at
Despite winning its first four matches of the league
campaign and reaching the Europa League group stage, there were critics who
began questioning the team following its 3- 1 loss at Hapoel Ramat Hasharon last
However, Tel Aviv rebounded in the fashion you would expect
from a title contender on Sunday, outplaying the sorry Beersheba on the way to
an easy three points that took it back above arch-rival Hapoel Tel
“When the match ends it all looks easy, but we had to work very
hard to make it look that way,” said Maccabi coach Moti Ivanir, whose team hosts
Dynamo Kiev in its second Europa League group match on Thursday.
a superb first half and the fact that we won even without seven significant
players shows how powerful our squad is.”
Maccabi will face its first
true test in the league next Monday when it hosts reigning champion Maccabi
Tel Aviv has already opened a fivepoint cushion over Haifa at this
early stage of the season and Ivanir knows that a win over the Greens next week
could prove to be very significant.
“We first of all want to make sure we
represent the club with honor against Kiev, but for us the league comes above
all else,” Ivanir said.
After losing for the sixth straight time,
Beersheba will hope to finally get off the mark when it visits fellowstruggler
Hapoel Haifa on Saturday.
Despite Beersheba’s awful start to the season,
coach Nir Klinger believes he will still be at the helm for that
“This is a very difficult situation,” Klinger said. “We were sure
we were on our way out of the crisis. Sometimes you have tough situations in
life and you need to know how to deal with them. We need to start thinking like
a struggling club and play accordingly.
“The best medicine for this
crisis is points.”
Maccabi always looked like the more dangerous team at
Vasermil Stadium, but the hosts did have their chances to stun the
Evyatar Iluz found himself with only ’keeper Guy Haimov
to beat in the 13th minute, but he couldn’t place his shot on target and it
seemed all but inevitable that the visitors would eventually take the
In the 30th minute, Barak Itzhaki should have done better with his
shot from just inside the box, but moments later he gave himself a perfect 27th
birthday present, firing a superb effort from 20 meters out straight into the
bottom left corner of the Beersheba goal.
Iluz squandered a golden
opportunity to equalize in the 38th minute when he released a poor shot from
close range straight at Haimov and one minute later the match was as good as
Gal Alberman, making his first league start of the season, sent an
excellent long ball forward to Yoav Ziv, who immediately squared the ball for
Eliran Atar to slot in Maccbai’s second.
Substitute Roberto Colautti
piled the misery on Beersheba with a super finish in the 67th minute and Yossi
Shivhon’s first goal for the hosts two minutes later was little consolation for
Colautti completed the scoring with his second of the
match 13 minutes from time, with goalkeeper Marcin Cabaj continuing his terrible
start to the season by amateurishly spilling Haris Medunjanin’s free
On Monday, Maccabi Petah Tikva hosts Rishon Lezion while Ashdod SC
visits Bnei Yehuda.
After losing its first match of the season 4-1 to
Hapoel Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva has won three of four games, while Rishon Lezion
has gone in the opposite direction, picking up just a single point after taking
a maximum six in its first two encounters.