Hapoel Beersheba downed Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0 on Saturday night with an impressive performance at Turner Stadium in the desert capital.
Danilo Asprilla opened the scoring early as he nodded home a Helder Lopes cross with authority for a 1-0 Beersheba lead in the fifth minute. Ramzi Safuri doubled the advantage in the second half with a scorcher from outside of the box that beat Maccabi ’keeper Daniel Peretz to secure the three points.
“We have a lot of potential and we do have a number of new players,” said Hapoel Beersheba coach Roni Levy. “Some of the players still need to get into proper shape but we are a very strong team. I am very confident in the players and we need to get a win streak going and play well on a consistent basis.”
Maccabi coach Patrick van Leeuwen noted his side’s lackluster start to the contest.
“We didn’t pay attention in the first minutes and we needed to be more aggressive,” said van Leeuwen. “At halftime we thought we could get back into the game and we created chances in the second half and then gave up a goal and the game was done.”
Elsewhere, Hapoel Haifa blanked Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-0 as the Carmel Reds moved to the top of the league table.
Alon Turgeman continued his hot start as he took an Alen Ozbolt pass and put it behind Ernestas Setkus to give the Elisha Levy’s squad a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.
After helping out on the first goal, Ozbolt scored one as well in the 73rd minute for his third of the season to help his squad secure the three points.
“I believe that we have a reason to smile,” Levy said after the game. “We won in what was our first big test at a stadium like this against a terrific team like Hapoel Tel Aviv with a lot of fans. We put on a show in an intensive game in which the better team took the victory. We came into the game well prepared and this was a very important win.”
Turgeman also reflected on the win.
“I am having a good time right now and I came into the season in great shape. I am happy that I was able to help the club and I hope that this can continue every week.”
Tel Aviv assistant coach Saleem Tuama explained that while his side controlled the possession, it couldn’t capitalize when it mattered.
“We didn’t start the game well and we knew that Hapoel Haifa would come in to play a tactical game,” said Tuama. “They went on counter-attacks with was our downfall as we controlled the game for the most part.”
Meanwhile, Ironi Kiryat Shmona slipped by Hapoel Nof Hagalil 1-0 in the northern capital thanks to a late Eyad Habshi penalty.
After a goalless first half, Itamar Shviro was sent off due to a reckless tackle, leaving host Kiryat Shmona with 10 men. However, as time ticked down Yarin Peretz pulled down Nadav Nidam in the box setting up Habshi’s 84th-minute penalty to give the northerners the victory.
“This was fun and it was a very emotional game,” said Kiryat Shmona coach Amir Nussbaum following the win. “The game is over, but I am still trying to get over what happened on the pitch after we received another red card for the second time this season. We have to take a serious look in the mirror in that regard, but I am very proud of guys.”
Habshi, who netted the winner, reacted to the victory.
“After a tough start to the season, we all said that we needed to take three points in this game and we did just that. We began the game off well and we deserved to score at least a goal. This was a huge win and everyone deserves credit for that.”
Nof Hagalil coach Yaron Hochenboim, was upset with the result.
“We were much better from the 10th minute all the way until the end of the game and this is very, very disappointing,” said Hochenboim. “We made offensive substitutions and we did the maximum.”
Hapoel Jerusalem and Bnei Sakhnin played to a dry goalless draw to split the points at Teddy Stadium in the capital city.
The Reds have not scored a goal in their first four games, but have collected three points so far this season.
“I am not content and disappointed,” Jerusalem coach Ziv Arie said. “I want to win, but we are also a young team with a lot of players who have never played in the top league. We are working the way we want to and we are trying to improve our play in the final third of the pitch. We had some good chances and the ball will finally go in.”
Sakhin coach Sharon Mimer commented on the pluses and minuses from the contest for his team.
“There were some good things from this game along with other things that we will have to work on,” said Mimer. “Anyone that wants to put down Jerusalem are truly mistaken as they are a strong team. We had a number of opportunities on one hand, but we also could have given up some goals as well.”