Beersheba soccer club shocked by lowly Ness Ziona

First-place Maccabi Tel Aviv blanks Hapoel Haifa • Maccabi Haifa dispatches Beitar Jerusalem

MACCABI HAIFA players celebrate the Greens’ second goal in their 3-1 home victory over Beitar Jerusalem on Sunday night in Israel Premier League action. (photo credit: MAOR ELKASLASI)
MACCABI HAIFA players celebrate the Greens’ second goal in their 3-1 home victory over Beitar Jerusalem on Sunday night in Israel Premier League action.
(photo credit: MAOR ELKASLASI)
Ness Ziona stunned Hapoel Beersheba 2-1 at the Moshava Stadium to win its first game of the season in Israel Premier League Round 10 action.
After a goalless first half, Moussa Maâzou headed home the ball off a Shai Elias cross to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
However, Beersheba drew even in the 92nd minute when second half substitute Nigel Hasselbaink slotted the ball behind Omri Glazer which looked to be the tying goal.
But just a minute later Amir Turgeman’s squad raced downfield and David Boycen nodded the ball past Ernestas Bartkus to allow Ness Ziona grab the three points and the maiden victory.
“I don’t think that this was such a surprise,” said Turgeman. “My players are improving and training well and step by step we are seeing a difference. We were able to stand up, play against Beersheba and dictate the play. I’m proud of the guys.”
In other action, Maccabi Tel Aviv continued to roll along with a 2-0 win over Hapoel Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium.
Eyal Golasa, who recently returned from injury, ignited the yellow-and-blue attack as the midfielder was instrumental in setting up both goals in the win.
Yonatan Cohen opened the scoring in the 26th minute as the winger took advantage of tremendous play by Golasa to beat the Carmel Reds ’keeper Jasmin Buric for the 1-0 lead. Dor Micha doubled the advantage in the 54th minute as the midfielder put home a give and go with Golasa to go up 2-0.
Ten minutes later, Maccabi had a chance to increase the lead by yet another goal, but Cohen missed a penalty as Buric made the timely save. Itay Shechter did get the third deep into injury time as he put away an Omer Atzily assist to help Mac TA remain in first place.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Haifa defeated Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 in a barn-burner of a matchup on Sunday night at Sammy Ofer Stadium. The win moved Marko Balbul’s squad into sole possession of second place just three points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when midfielder Ali Mohamed weaved his way through the Maccabi Haifa defense and passed the ball to his right, where Shlomi Azulay was waiting to send a low liner to the far left hand corner beating ’keeper Josh Cohen cleanly.
The yellow-and-black continued to attack for the balance of the half but couldn’t find the goal as the visitors went into halftime with a one-goal advantage.
The Greens came out of the break on fire and drew even just four minutes into the second half as Ernest Mabouka sent Dolev Haziza a perfect pass that the latter put behind the Beitar ’keeper Itamar Nitzan.
Former Beitar striker Nikita Rukavytsya completed the comeback in the 80th minute when he slotted home a terrific team play as Maxim Plakuschenko and Tjaron Chery played a part in the strike to give Haifa a 2-1 lead.
Chery then scored a goal of his own as he beat Nitzan from the penalty spot after the referee ruled that there had been a handball in the area by a Beitar player which was confirmed by the VAR to wrap up a tidy 3-1 victory.
“We didn’t play well enough in the first half and I really want to see from now on the Maccabi Haifa of the second half and not the first,” explained Balbul. “We deserves to win against a good team that has been playing very well of late.”
“It’s a bad feeling to lose the game and we weren’t able to stand up to Haifa’s pressure,” a disappointed Roni Levy said following the game. “After we scored we took our foot off the gas and we didn’t play football.”
Hapoel Tel Aviv slipped by Ironi Kiryat Shmona 1-0 up north as new Reds coach Nir Klinger collected his first victory with the club. Last week, Niso Avitan was relieved of his duties as club management brought on Hapoel Tel Aviv legend Moshe Sinai as Sports Director who in turn hired Klinger to man the sidelines.
The Reds scored the lone goal of the contest in the 15th minute off a Demba Camara penalty after Kiryat Shmona ’keeper Džiugas Bartkus pulled down Omri Altman in the box to give the visitors the 11-meter spot kick. In the 30th minute, Raz Shlomo yanked down John Ruiz, but Hapoel shot-stopper Yoav Gerafi came up big by saving Cillian Sheridan’s penalty as the Reds took home the three points.
“My first goal as coach wasn’t so much football but how to change the mental state of the players and get them geared up,” explained Klinger. “They have to get all of the credit as they beat a tough team at a small pitch during a very tough time.”
Bnei Yehuda dropped Ashdod 2-0 at Bloomfield Stadium as Matija Ljujic and Muhammad Ghadir found the back of the net for Yossi Abuksis’s side to earn the three points.
Maccabi Netanya defeated Hapoel Ra’anana 1-0 at the Netanya Stadium as Yonas Malede scored the only goal of the contest in the 72nd minute to give struggling Netanya the win.
Hapoel Kfar Saba hosted Hapoel Hadera to a goalless draw at the Moshava Stadium as the sides split the points ahead of the international break.