Hapoel Beersheba bests Beitar Jerusalem

Ashdod shocks Maccabi Tel Aviv • Haifa blanks K8 Petah Tikva nails injury-time winner to beat Bnei Yehuda

In an entertaining Premier League match in the capital, Hapoel Beersheba upended host Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 on Monday night at Teddy Stadium.  (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
In an entertaining Premier League match in the capital, Hapoel Beersheba upended host Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 on Monday night at Teddy Stadium.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
In an exciting week off the field for the soccer team from Israel’s capital, things didn’t go as well on the pitch.
Hapoel Beersheba slipped by Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 in Premier League action at Teddy Stadium thanks to a second-half brace by embattled star Josue, who had been suspended by the team a couple of weeks earlier.
Yarden Shua got the yellow-and-black on the board with his first goal as a member of Beitar by heading home an Oran Bitton cross in the 17th minute. Beersheba drew even on a controversial penalty strike by Josue in the 65th minute when Or Dadia went down in the box after minimal contact, and the Portuguese striker also netted the winner on a 16-meter marker five minutes later to hand the points to Yossi Abukasis’s squad.
“Josue is learning,” said Abukasis following the win. “He understands that his love for the game is above all. After being out for two games as a punishment, he would rather pay $100,000 to play than to sit on the side again. All in all, we played a good second half but we have to know that we need to play tougher defense as well.
Beitar coach Shay Barda looked back at the game.
“We wanted to win and the players were focused as we played a good first half. But I don’t know what happened with the penalty – that is up to the referee. I believe that you all saw what happened there and I don’t think that if there was a crowd of 35,000 people here it would have been as easy to call that penalty.”
Elsewhere, Ashdod SC stunned visiting Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-2 with a late goal by Sagiv Yehezkel to take the points ahead of the yellow-and-blue’s decisive Europa League match on Thursday against Sivasspor for a ticket to the competition’s round-of-32.
Fahad Bayo opened the scoring for the hosts in the 20th minute when he took advantage of a poor back-pass by Dan Bitton to give Ashdod the lead. Luis Hernandez headed home the equalizer off a Bitton cross in the 53rd minute, and less than 10 minutes later Yonatan Cohen pounced on a ball in the box to give Georgios Donis’s squad a 2-1 advantage.
However, in the 69th minute Shlomi Azulay launched a 14-meter scorcher that beat Tel Aviv ’keeper Daniel Tenenbaum to tie the game up and 10 minutes later Yehezkel worked his way into the Maccabi box to score the winner.
“We played average soccer today, but with a huge heart,” said Ashdod coach Ran Ben Shimon. “We are a much better club than how we played but to be able to win this game is really something else.”
Maccabi coach Donis was less than thrilled with his team’s performance.
“This was a tough day for us and for us to lose a game like this means we’ve taken a huge step backwards. Sometimes there are no words, it’s soccer. In a game like this we had to control the lace of play throughout.”
Also, Maccabi Haifa squashed Ironi Kiryat Shmona 3-0 thanks to three late second-half goals to take the victory.
After a goalless first half, Dolev Haziza was pulled down in the box in the 74th minute and converted the spot kick for a 1-0 lead. Just four minutes later, Tjaron Chery’s cross went off of Idan Nachmias and being K8 ’keeper Dzigius Bartkus to double the Greens’ advantage, while Nikita Rukavytsya finished off a Chery through-ball in the 85th minute to take the win.
“It’s my daughter’s bat mitzvah and I promised her that we would win,” said Haifa coach Barak Bachar. “This was a tough game against the only team that hadn’t lost yet this season. But we continued with our solid play and took the three points.”
“I don’t want to complain about the referees yet again but this was over the edge and I’m upset,” said disgruntled Kiryat Shmona coach Kobi Refuah. “Maccabi Haifa is a good enough team without the help of the whistle here or there, but we will just have to keep working.”
Bnei Sakhnin blanked Hapoel Haifa 2-0 as Ben Vahaba was shown a straight red card for a reckless foul on Beram Kayal, paving the way to a pair of goals by Osama Khalaila and Moti Barshatzky to give Niso Avitan’s side the points.
Haifa coach Haim Silvas couldn’t hide his disappointment, “We had to be better in the first 25 minutes or so and score. Up until the red card we played well and then things started going backwards. After we gave up the first goal we knew it would be tough to come back and then we conceded a second.”
Maccabi Petah Tikva scored a dramatic 92nd-minute goal to take the three points against 10-man Bnei Yehuda.
Shay Mazur received a red card in the 50th minute for a flagrant elbow to Arad Bar, giving Guy Luzon’s squad an extra man, but it took until injury time for hosts to take advantage of the situation when Tai Baribo scored in the box to secure the victory.
“We played against a team that knows how to play defense very well,” said Luzon. “We knew that we needed to have patience and I am happy that we were able to eventually score to take the win. I have to give credit to the players, we came to win and we kept a clean sheet yet again.”
Baribo was all smiles following his winner.
“Every striker wants to score a winning goal but the most important thing for us was to win. I will always do my best for the club and I hope that we will remain in first place for as long as possible.”
Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Netanya played to a goalless draw at Bloomfield Stadium.
“We didn’t score though we had plenty of chances,” said Netanya coach Raymond Atteveld. “As a coach I am happy that we created chances, but we needed to win the game. We had a lot of youngsters who played tough and that is the energy we need as the players are learning day to day.”
Tel Aviv coach Nir Klinger also summed up the clash.
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we know what the situation is that we are in. We knew that there would be challenges with a very limited budget and we will do the best that we can.”
Hapoel Hadera and Hapoel Kfar Saba played to a 1-1 draw, with both goals coming on penalties.
Odah Marshalls scored his spot kick just ahead of the halftime break however a red card to Dia Lababidi in the 59th minute led to Luwagga Kizito’s penalty as the sides split the points.
“We really wanted to win and we took the lead, but out of nowhere we were handed a red card,” lamented Hadera coach Sharon Mimer. “I have to give credit to the players for being able to withstand the Kfar Saba attack as they had a numerical advantage.”
Kfar Saba coach Amir Turgeman also spoke about the draw.
“The penalty called against us was questionable, but with an extra man in the second half we really tried to win the game. But we weren’t calm, cool and collected in our finishing despite creating a few chances.”