Maccabi dominates Hapoel in Tel Aviv derby

Stoppage-time tally boosts Ashdod over Beitar • Leader Maccabi Haifa, Beersheba both triumph.

MACCABI TEL AVIV striker Aleksandar Pesic heads the ball toward the Hapoel Tel Aviv net during the yellow-and-blue’s 4-0 derby win on Monday night at Bloomfield. (photo credit: ARIEL SHALOM)
MACCABI TEL AVIV striker Aleksandar Pesic heads the ball toward the Hapoel Tel Aviv net during the yellow-and-blue’s 4-0 derby win on Monday night at Bloomfield.
(photo credit: ARIEL SHALOM)
Maccabi Tel Aviv wiped out Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-0 in the big Tel Aviv Derby at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night to climb into second place in the Israel Premier League.
After a goalless first half, the floodgates opened for interim coach Patrick van Leeuwen, who took over the club last week when Giorgos Donis and his staff were relieved of their duties. Dor Peretz broke the deadlock by stabbing home a corner kick that was redirected by Eitan Tibi in the 61st minute and just a minute later Aleksandar Pesic scored into the far corner to give the yellow-and-blue a 2-0 lead.
Yonatan Cohen added insult to injury by crossing the ball to substitute Eylon Almog, who headed it home, while Cohen then found the back of the goal himself in stoppage time to wrap up the rout for Maccabi.
“We’ve been working on our passing game in order to find each other better,” said van Leeuwen. “At halftime we went over some of the things I wanted the players to do and we scored four goals. We were much more organized and worked hard these past few days. Now we have to get ready for the next game.”
Hapoel coach Nir Klinger reflected on the defeat.
“It was clear who the stronger team was going into the game. We were able to play tactically and attempted to go on counter attacks. Up until the 60th minute, we were able to hold off Maccabi but then they scored off of the set piece and that was the end of the game for us.”
Meanwhile, Ashdod SC shocked Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 as Fahad Bayo scored a 93rd-minute winner to snatch the three points at Teddy Stadium in the capital.
Dean David scored into the left corner of the goal to give the port city squad an early 1-0 lead, but Ali Muhammad drew Beitar even in the 24th minute from inside the box. However, Bayo beat his defender and put the ball by ’keeper Itamar Nitzan in the area deep into injury time to take the win.
“Beitar was the better team and this wasn’t how I wanted the squad to play, but we ended up taking the points,” said Ashdod coach Ran Ben Shimon. “We haven’t had enough time to just train as a team with a number of new players, but I’m proud we are in third place and we are continuing to improve.”
Beitar’s co-coach Shay Barda summed up the game in dismay.
“We were naïve. We were thinking about how we could score and win but we weren’t focused enough. That’s soccer and it’s very disappointing. We controlled the game, but that’s not how you take points.”
Elsewhere, Hapoel Beersheba blanked Bnei Yehuda 2-0 on a pair of second-half goals to take the win.
After a scoreless first half, Mariano Bareiro headed home the first goal in the 70th minute while Josue followed up with the insurance marker as he elegantly chipped the ball over a helpless Omer Niron to bag the points.
“I felt that we actually played much better last game, when we lost 2-1 to Petah Tikva,” said Beersheba coach Yossi Abukasis. “But soccer is perhaps the only sport that you can be the better team and lose and be the worse team and win.”
Josue also commented after the victory.
“It was hard to play against Bnei Yehuda and we knew that they are a good club. But if we played our game we knew we could win and I am happy that was the case.”
Also, first-place Maccabi Haifa downed struggling Maccabi Netanya 2-0 on a pair of first-half markers.
Dolev Haziza pounced on the ball in the fourth minute and put it by Dani Amos for a quick 1-0 lead, while 15 minutes later Nikita Rukavytsya scored his 13th goal of the campaign to double the score and give the Greens the three points they needed to stay comfortably atop the table by eight points.
“It’s great to close a round of play with seven wins,” said a satisfied Haifa coach Barak Bachar. “We have to take a breather right now and regroup both physically and mentally. There are things to improve but it’s always easier to do so after a victory.”
We had a few chances but there’s not much to take from this game,” said a disappointed Netanya coach Raymond Atteveld. “Every player needs to do what they are responsible for. I hope that as the second round of games begin, we can get back to where we need to be.”
In other action, Ironi Kiryat Shmona slipped by Hapoel Kfar Saba 1-0 as Idan Nachmias nodded home a 13th-minute pinpoint perfect cross from Muhammed Shaker to secure the points. Following the game former Israel National Team coach Elisha Levy was appointed as Kfar Saba’s next head coach.
Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Hadera played to a scoreless tie at Sammy Ofer Stadium as Carmel Reds’ ’keeper Ran Kadosh to help secure a point for Haim Silvas’s squad.
“This was a very, very difficult game in very harsh weather conditions,” explained Silvas. “This wasn’t ideal for a soccer game. There were a few chances on each side and that was it.”
Maccabi Petah Tikva and Bnei Sahknin’s game at the Moshava Stadium ended in a goalless draw as both sides took a point.
“Sakhnin is a known counter-attack team,” said Petah Tikva coach guy Luzon. “They just wait for you to lose patience and then they will pounce on the opportunity. We wanted to win, but in this type of game if you lose your concentration you can give up a goal very easily. We may not have scored, but we also didn’t concede.”
Sakhnin coach Niso Avitan spoke about what he saw from his vantage point.
“We know how to defend, but we just couldn’t create opportunities. But we are in good shape and I am content as to how we are playing.”