Action-packed week in soccer, basketball

Between national team and league, Israelis flood the pitch • Jerusalem and others hit the gym

ISRAEL SNAPPED a four-game winless streak in Euro 2020 qualifiying with a 3-0 victory over visiting Latvia this week in Beersheba’s Turner Stadium.  (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
ISRAEL SNAPPED a four-game winless streak in Euro 2020 qualifiying with a 3-0 victory over visiting Latvia this week in Beersheba’s Turner Stadium.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Are you visiting Israel? Do you already live in the Holy Land? Have you had the chance to catch some great sports action over the Sukkot holiday? If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late and there are still a number of opportunities to do so.
This past week saw the Israel national soccer team defeated Latvia 3-1 in a 2020 Euro 2020 qualifying match at the fabulous Turner Stadium in Beersheba. Israel went on the attack early as Moanes Dabour broke the ice in the 16th minute when he put home a Taleb Tawhatha cross for a 1-0 lead. The blue-and-white doubled its advantage 10 minutes later when Eran Zahavi scored his 11th goal of the Euro 2020 campaign by putting home a Dabour rebound.
However, Latvia scored a shock goal in the 40th minute when Israel’s defense was turned inside out by Vladimirs Kamess to pull to with one goal at 2-1. The opportunity was short-lived as Dabour scored his second goal of the game, chipping the ball over a helpless Pavels Steinbors for a 3-1 lead at the break which held up after 90 minutes of play.
This Saturday night, you can get a taste of Israeli soccer at the same Turner Stadium when local side Hapoel Beersheba kicks off against Ironi Kiryat Shmona at 7:30 p.m. You can also catch a game in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, when Hapoel Tel Aviv faces Hapoel Kfar Saba at the new Bloomfield Stadium at 6 p.m., or in Petah Tikva, where Ness Ziona hosts Beitar Jerusalem at the Moshava Stadium at 8:30 p.m.
Right after Simhat Torah on Monday night, you have three local soccer options, including Hapoel Ra’anana playing Hapoel Haifa at the Netanya Stadium at 6 p.m., Ashdod SC hosting Maccabi Tel Aviv at 8 p.m. or Maccabi Haifa welcoming Bnei Yehuda at 8:15 p.m. at Sammy Ofer Stadium in the north.
There was also some terrific domestic basketball action this week in Tel Aviv and up north in Nahariya, where Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Eilat, while visiting Ness Ziona topped Ironi Nahariya. You can see both of the winners tip off on Sunday afternoon in Ness Ziona at 3 p.m. right before heading to your synagogue for Simhat Torah hakafot.
On the European front, there were a trio of continental games. Maccabi Rishon Lezion notched an historic win in defeating Monaco from France 79-72 in Eurocup action for its first-ever victory in the competition. Rishon came out on fire and took a quick 24-17 lead after 10 minutes thanks to star guard Alex Hamilton, who ended the night with 22 points. Monaco closed the gap by halftime and went into the break only down by three points (43-40).
But Guy Goodes’s team, with a short bench, played stunning defense over the second half while Johnathan Williams, Darryl Monroe and Jordan Swing turned up the offense as Rishon held on to take the win.
If you want to check out some Rishon Lezion fun, the club hosts Maccabi Haifa on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Beit Maccabi.
Hapoel Jerusalem opened up its European journey with a 73-69 win on the road at Bandirma in Turkey.
The Reds had a rough-and-tumble affair that saw scoring at a premium, but J’Covan Brown (19 points), Suleiman Braimoh (15 points) and Tashawn Thomas (16 points) were able to give Oded Katash’s squad a 33-30 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Brown and Braimoh again were the catalysts over the second half, which saw Jerusalem extend its lead to 11 points (60-49) entering the fourth quarter.
Bandirma stormed back, but Jerusalem was able to hold on to the record the four-point victory.
If you want to see Jerusalem live and in person you can do that right after Shabbat at Jerusalem’s Pais Arena, when Hapoel welcomes Nahariya at 8:25 p.m.
Hapoel Holon lost to Turk Telekom 82-79 at home in a tight Champions League contest that opened up the continental season. In a back-and-forth affair throughout the first three quarters, Sharon Drucker’s squad finally broke away thanks to an 11-0 run to take a 72-65 lead with four minutes remaining in the game.
However, Muhammed Baygul scored four points and dished out three assists to pull his team to within one point and then Nick Johnson drilled a triple and hit a pull-up jumper to give Turk Telekom the win.
Malachi Richardson scored 21 points, Latavious Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus Foster chipped in for 13 points for Holon. T.J. Campbell was the high scorer for the visitors while Baygul and Johnson each dropped 13 points.
If you’re staying in the Galilee over the weekend you can drive down to Gan Ner and see Holon visit local side Hapoel Gilboa/Galil at 8 p.m.
Also on tap is Hapoel Beersheba hosting Hapoel Eilat at 8 p.m. and Hapoel Tel Aviv visiting Maccabi Ashdod at 8:30 p.m.
Joshua Halickman, the Sports Rabbi, covers Israeli sports and organizes Israel sports adventures for tourists and residents ( Follow the Sports Rabbi on Twitter @thesportsrabbi or feel free to contact the Sports Rabbi at