Maccabi Haifa dominated an overmatched Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0 over the weekend in Israel Premier League action as Dean David scored a pair of late goals to the delight of the fans at a sold-out Sammy Ofer Stadium.
After a goalless first half that saw chances from both sides, the Greens began to press in order to break the deadlock throughout the second half. With the pressure mounting against the yellow-and-blue, usually steady defender Enric Saborit gifted a ball to Haifa midfielder Ali Muhammed, who quickly found an oncoming David, who easily beat Maccabi ’keeper Daniel Peretz to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 84th minute.
As the match went into second-half injury time, David latched onto a ball at the tip of the box and with his back turned to the goal, he sent a cheeky back-heel shot behind a helpless Peretz to polish off the victory.
Maccabi Haifa heads to Italy for Champions League action
Next up for Maccabi Haifa is a Champions League date with Juventus in Torino, Italy, right after Yom Kippur on Wednesday night.
“All of our substitutes played well, it’s tough to play with such intensity for 90 minutes and they helped us win the game,” Haifa coach Barak Bachar said. “I am happy for Dean David, who had been going through a tough time on a personal and professional level. He works hard and we all knew that he would get his moment and that’s what happened as he scored a pair of goals. We created enough chances in order to win and I am happy that we showed huge character.”
“I am happy for Dean David, who had been going through a tough time on a personal and professional level. He works hard and we all knew that he would get his moment and that’s what happened as he scored a pair of goals. We created enough chances in order to win and I am happy that we showed huge character.”Barak Bachar
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Vladen Ivic admitted that his team was not the best on this day.
“I believe that today Haifa was better than us and they created more chances than we did,” Ivic said following the game. “We had some opportunities, but in comparison they had more and ended up scoring. Sometimes you don’t score on your best chances but do on errors.”
David, the man of the match, reflected on his performance and the victory.
“It’s a great feeling. I’m thrilled to have gotten right into the game and that I was able to score after a tough time. We have a great staff here that has helped me every single minute. My mother was a very influential person in my life and especially in my career. Our goal is to give our best and win every game including the away game coming up at Juventus.”
Yellow-and-blue midfielder Dor Peretz spoke about his team’s defeat.
“This wasn’t a good enough game from us. Maccabi Haifa controlled the contest and they held the upper hand. We had a few chances and we knew that they could be decisive, but we conceded in the last few minutes.”
Elsewhere, Hapoel Beersheba slipped by Maccabi Netanya 2-1 as Shai Elias scored the late winner to hand the visitors the three points at the Netanya Stadium.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 57th minute as Patrick Twumasi scored off a direct corner kick to give Benny Lam’s side a 1-0 lead.
However, Tomer Hemed beat Itamar Nitzan via penalty 18 minutes later to draw even, while Rotem Hatuel fed Elias a perfect ball and he scored off of his own rebound in the 86th minute to notch the victory.
“You can say that this was a win that was all heart,” exclaimed Beersheba bench boss Elyaniv Barda. “We didn’t show much until we gave up the second half goal and I believe that we needed to play much better. Right after we conceded, we had a pair of good chances and we scored on both. This was all heart because we came back from a deficit and it wasn’t the first time that we did so.”
“I think we saw two teams that really wanted to win,” Netanya coach Benny Lam said. “We went into the halftime break knowing that Beersheba was very good and it was very important for us that we continued to play our game and that we scored. But it wasn’t enough because they are a good team and my substitutions weren’t good enough.”
Meanwhile, Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Hapoel Haifa drew 1-1 as the two sides split the points in the northern capital.
Haifa’s Alon Turgeman jumped all over a free kick and put it behind Dzigius Bartkus for a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute. But Eyad Habshi scored a penalty for Kiryat Shmona after a handball by Loai Taha in the box to knot the game up at 1-1 in the 83rd minute as each side took home a point a piece.
“We didn’t begin this game well and the wind really made it difficult for us,” Kiryat Shmona coach Menachem Koretzky said. “Unfortunately, we gave up a goal from a set piece that we should have avoided. But then we dominated the game as Haifa tried to slow the pace down. The players worked hard though it wasn’t enough for the win.”
Haifa coach Nir Klinger also said the wind played a factor.
“When we didn’t score two or three goals in the first half we knew that we would have issues in the second half,” Klinger said. “The wind was also a problem for us and the penalty just came out of nowhere. Of course we are disappointed about the result, but we are now looking ahead knowing that we are difficult to beat. We also need to understand that if we are the superior squad we need to score more than one goal.”
Also, Ashdod SC and Hapoel Hadera played to a 1-1 draw at the port city as each team earned a point for their efforts.
After a listless first half that saw Ashdod go down to 10 men when Ebenezer Mamatah was sent off due to a cleats-up tackle on Hadera ’keeper Robi Levkovich, Shalev Harash scored to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute.
However, a quarter-hour later Jonathan Cisse found the equalizer to split the points.
“The game got away from us a bit after we lost a man,” Ashdod bench boss Ran Ben Shimon explained. “We wanted to try and keep the game at 0-0 and score off of a counter attack and we were able to go up a goal. But when you are playing with a man down from the 20th minute, it’s very difficult to do, as we conceded.”
“This is the first game that I am really disappointed with this season,” Hadera coach Asaf Nimni said. “We should have won the game as we followed our plan throughout and we ended up with a point.”