Bnei Yehuda beats Beitar Jerusalem at Teddy

Leader Maccabi Tel Aviv held to draw at Beersheba • Maccabi Haifa stunned at home by Kfar Saba

Beitar Jerusalem's players look on as the team slumps to a 3-1 defeat to Bnei Yehuda, Februry 2, 2020 (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Beitar Jerusalem's players look on as the team slumps to a 3-1 defeat to Bnei Yehuda, Februry 2, 2020
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Bnei Yehuda shocked Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 in the capital on Sunday night as Dor Jan scored a pair of late injury-time goals to snatch the win for the Tel Aviv side to close out Premier League Round 21 action.
Gaeten Varenne gave Jerusalem a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute at Teddy Stadium when he took a tremendous through ball from Levi Garcia and beat ’keeper Emilias Zoubas with a scorcher to the left corner from 18 meters.
However, the tide began to turn in the 50th minute when Antoine Conte was issued his second yellow for a foul on Jan and was sent off, leaving Roni Levy’s side with 10 men for the balance of the contest.
Matija Ljujic equalized for Bnei Yehuda in the 81st minutes and then Avishay Cohen found Jan in the 90th as he beat a helpless Itamar Nitzan to give Elisha Levy’s squad the advantage.
Barely a minute later, Jan added an insurance marker off a Amit Zaneti cross to seal up the away victory.
“When you win you have to smile, there’s no reason not to,” said a content Levy. “The players worked hard and when you take three points like we did against Beitar, we have to continue to prepare for our next game exactly the same way. This was a very important win for us as the table is very tight.”
Elsewhere, Hapoel Beersheba hosted league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv to a 1-1 draw at Turner Stadium in the Southern capital. The yellow-and-blue opened the scoring in the second half when Chico Ofoedu cleanly beat Reds ’keeper Ernestas Setkus in the 52nd minute, but 15 minutes later Niv Zrihen took advantage of a Maccabi miscue in the box as the sides split the points.
“I think that we deserved more from this game,” said Maccabi coach Vladimir Ivic. “We missed some great opportunities and we could have scored five or six goals. We weren’t accurate enough in the first half, but we were much better in the second half.”
Ofoedu also spoke about the conquest that could have been.
“We gave up a goal on their lone chance of the game. I’m disappointed that we didn’t take the three points as we had plenty of opportunities to do so in the second half.”
The yellow-and-blue hosted Hapoel Ra’anana late Monday night in a match that ended after press time to kick-off the midweek Round 22 slate.
Also, Hapoel Kfar Saba stunned second-place Maccabi Haifa 1-0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium thanks to an Omer Fadida goal deep into stoppage time.
After playing over 95 minutes of scoreless soccer, Fadida took the ball down the right side, cut into the box and sliced the ball past a helpless Josh Cohen to give the Kfar Saba the surprise road win and three points.
“I always believe that we can win against any team,” said Ravid Gezel, Kfar Saba’s assistant coach. “We didn’t play well in the first half, but I’m happy we were able to score and win the match. We still have a long way to go and we need every point that we can collect.”
Maccabi Haifa coach Marko Balbul put the disappointing result into perspective.
“We weren’t complacent and we weren’t accurate with our chances. We had some opportunities near the end, but we needed to know how to win these types of games.”
Meanwhile, Hapoel Hadera defeated Ness Tziona 1-0 at the Netanya Stadium as Eliel Peretz knocked in an 80th-minute rebound to give the hosts all three points.
Hadera thought that it had taken the lead right before halftime but the Virtual Assistant Referee nullified the strike. However, Peretz took advantage of Lucio’s missed header in the box to find the back of the goal and notch the victory for Hadera.
“This game should have ended with us winning by many more goals,” said Hadera coach Sharon Mimer. “It’s too bad we had so many missed opportunities. All in all we played well and we need to continue playing like this.”
Goal-scorer Peretz spoke about his triumphant return to the pitch after being out with an injury.
“I’m very happy that I was able to help my team win after being out for three months. There’s nothing better than this. Our goal at the start of the season was to stay in the league and avoid relegation, but now we are really trying to make sure that we can remain in the championship playoff picture.”
In another surprise result, Hapoel Haifa downed Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 at Bloomfield Stadium on a 10th-minute strike by Jakub Sylvestr.
Dor Malul and Gidi Kanuk combined to begin Haifa’s first attack of the contest and Sylvestr finished it off by beating Yoav Gerafi for the only goal of the game.
With the victory, Hapoel Haifa put itself in position for a chance at a Championship play-off spot and just one point behind fifth-place Hapoel Tel Aviv in the standings.
“This was a very important win,” noted Haifa coach Haim Silvas. “We came into the game knowing that we had to get a result and on our first attack we scored the lone goal of the match. The win will calm the players down after a rough patch where we didn’t have great results. I’m proud of the players, this was a super important victory.”
In a relegation battle, Ironi Kiryat Shmona drew 1-1 at Hapoel Ra’anana as each side took a point at the Moshava Stadium.
Yoav Tomer gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, but Mohamed Shaker found the late equalizer in the 81st minute to round out the scoring.
Ashdod SC and Maccabi Netanya played to a goalless draw at the port city as the sides split the points at the Yud Alef Stadium.