Yellow-and-blue overwhelms Netanya

All-around effort keeps Mac TA atop table • Maccabi Haifa keeps pace • Beitar blanks Ashdod

 Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Eran Zahavi gestures to the Bloomfield Stadium fans after scoring the yellow-and-blue’s second goal in the 3-0 conquest of Maccabi Netanya. (photo credit: BERNEY ARDOV)
Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Eran Zahavi gestures to the Bloomfield Stadium fans after scoring the yellow-and-blue’s second goal in the 3-0 conquest of Maccabi Netanya.
(photo credit: BERNEY ARDOV)

Maccabi Tel Aviv dominated Maccabi Netanya 3-0 on Monday night in Israel Premier League action as three different goal scorers found the back of the net to keep the yellow-and-blue in first place.

Djorde Jovanovic opened the scoring as the Serbian took full advantage of a team play that saw Eran Zahavi get the ball to Oscar Glouch, who in turn sent it to Eric Saborit, who finally crossed the ball to Jovanovic, who beat Itamar Nitzan in the 12th minute for a 1-0 lead.

Just ahead of the half-time break, Glouch found Zahavi, who blasted home the second goal to double the lead, while Saborit polished off the victory in the second half by sending a scorcher into the back of the goal off a corner kick to finish off the victory.

“It was a good combination and moment with a lot of passes and first touches,” Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Vladen Ivic said about Jovanovic’s goal.

“It was one of the most beautiful goals that we have scored this year. We began the game with passion and desire and all in all this was one of our best games of the season,” he added.

“We began the game with passion and desire and all in all this was one of our best games of the season.”

Vladen Ivic
 Maccabi Haifa players. (credit: Maccabi Haifa/Courtesy) Maccabi Haifa players. (credit: Maccabi Haifa/Courtesy)

Netanya bench boss Benny Lam took his side’s loss in stride.

“We started the season well and beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Toto Cup and then also defeated Beitar Jerusalem as well,” Lam said. “We played well and we were there in most games but couldn’t finish them off. We have to pick up the players and make sure they keep their heads up.”

Maccabi Haifa edges Irony Kiryat Shmona

Meanwhile, Maccabi Haifa defeated Ironi Kiryat Shmona 3-2 in a barnburner of a match up north to take the three points.

Frandtzy Pierrot opened the scoring to give the Greens a lead in the 27th minute, but Itamar Shviro took care of his own rebound to draw even at 1-1 just ahead of the break.

Tjaron Chery converted an Omer Azilly ball just three minutes into the second half to give Barak Bachar’s squad a 2-1 lead, but Shviro used this left foot to slot the ball home to knot the game up at 2-2 in the 53rd minute.

However, Dylan Batubinsika scored off of a short corner kick in the 81st minute to give Haifa the 3-2 lead for good as they bagged the triumph ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match at Paris Saint-Germain.

“We made this game tough for ourselves as every time we started to feel good we gave up another goal,” Bachar said. “Most important is that we knew how to win this type of matchup. When you win it’s much easier to fix the mistakes that we made. Now we are getting ready to fly to Paris for PSG in Champions League play.”

Hapoel Beersheba's set piece masterpiece

Also, Hapoel Beersheba dominated Hapoel Jerusalem 4-1 in a game that featured four different scorers to hand the southerners the road points at Teddy Stadium.

Elyaniv Barda’s squad opened the scoring early as Rotem Hatuel stabbed home a free kick for a quick lead in the second minute, while 10 minutes later Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov took care of a Hatuel give-and-go to give Beersheba a 2-0 lead.

William Togui found the back of the goal for the capital city Reds in the 18th minute, but Eden Shamir headed home a Roie Gordana free kick before the end of the half to restore Beersheba’s two-goal lead.

The visitors added yet another goal in the 57th minute as Miguel Vitor volleyed home another marker to take the 4-1 victory.

“This was a very important win at a tough stadium against a very good opponent,” Barda said. “I’m happy that we were able to take the three points after an excellent first half. This win gave us some relief after the last few results and I am content that this time the ball went into the goal after having an issue scoring over the last few weeks.”

“We got mixed up a bit in this game and I felt that way all week long,” Jerusalem bench boss Ziv Arie explained. “We were too happy after the Netanya game and I was unable to relay the proper message, so I’ll take the blame. We were soft and we knew that Beersheba was going to come to play to win.”

Beitar continues to rally

At the port city, Beitar Jerusalem blanked Ashdod SC 2-0 as the yellow-and-black scored a goal in each half to take the points on the road.

Ion Nicolaescu put home a perfect Danilo Asprilla cross from the right side to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, while the pair reversed roles early in the second as Asprilla scored the insurance marker for the visitors to give Yossi Abukasis’s team the win.

“You can say that we are a totally different team over the past two games,” Abukasis said. “We made a mental switch in our heads and we are seeing many players contributing on the pitch, which has given us results. This was our best game of the season against a tough team at this home, now we can’t wait for our next match.”

Ness Ziona slipped by Hapoel Haifa 1-0 as late substitute Ari Moura headed home an Ori Magbo ball in the 82nd minute to give the visitors all the points at Sammy Ofer Stadium.

Following the game Haifa head coach Nir Klinger was relieved of his duties and Roni Levy was appointed to take his place.

“I told the players in the locker room before the game that we should keep a clean sheet and win the game and that is what happened,” Ness Ziona coach Nir Berkovic said. “We come into every game with the goal to win, sometimes it happens and sometimes not. Ari Moura is a terrific player and I am happy that he was able to score the winning goal.”

The Arab sector's derby

Bnei Reineh defeated Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 thanks to a Richard Boateng brace as the newly promoted side took the three points and the win.

Osama Khalaila and Boateng played give-and-go as the latter opened the scoring in the 27th minute while he doubled the score 10 minutes into the second half as Sharon Mimer’s squad continued to surprise.

“To defeat Sakhnin, who have many terrific players, is no less of an accomplishment than beating Maccabi Haifa,” Mimer said. “It was important for us to win at home and the fans were just fantastic. This was a very important win for the club, but we have to remain modest as it's our first season in the top league.”

Hapoel Hadera hosted Hapoel Tel Aviv to a goalless draw at the Netanya Stadium as both sides took home a point.

“We wanted to try and put together a winning streak,” Tel Aviv coach Slobodan Drapic said. “But we also have to understand that we are playing against a team that also wanted to take points. It was important that we didn’t give up a goal, but I want to see us play better next week.”