Omer Atzili showed why he is regarded as one of Israel’s best young players after stealing the show on Monday night, scoring two goals and setting up another to lead Beitar Jerusalem to a 3-1 win at Bnei Sakhnin.
Much of the build-up to the match between the two bitter rivals focused on both sets of supporters, with over 800 policemen and stewards being deployed at Doha Stadium in an attempt to keep the peace. Six fans were arrested after several minor altercations, but it was Atzili who grabbed the headlines, helping Beitar to its first win at Sakhnin after nine years.
The 22-year-old midfielder, who joined Beitar two years ago, was responsible for Dovev Gabay’s 21st-minute opener, floating a perfectly- weighted pass for the striker to head in. Sakhnin netted a deserved equalizer in the 45th minute through Shlomi Azulay, but it took 10 second half minutes for Atzili to move Beitar back in front, heading in from close range. Nine minutes later, he scored the goal of the match, cutting in from the right flank before releasing an unstoppable effort with his left foot from the edge of the box.
Beitar goalkeeper Boris Kleyman ensured his team left with the three points after saving a penalty from Firas Mugrabi in the 73rd minute before making another sensational stop one minute later, denying Tzahi Elihen.