Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kiryat Shmona share spoils at Bloomfield

The second half played out almost identically to the first until the 85th minute.

Vova Brown  (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Vova Brown
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
A Barak Badash equalizer five minutes from time gave Maccabi Tel Aviv a 1-1 draw against Ironi Kiryat Shmona at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night and ensured the yellow-and-blue remained in first place in the Premier League standings for at least one more week.
Kiryat Shmona had taken the lead in the 10th minute through Vova Brown and looked to be heading to a memorable win thanks to some inspired defending. However, Maccabi was finally rewarded for its dominance in the 85th minute, with Badash heading in from close range against his former team to keep the yellow- and-blue in first place, two points ahead of Kiryat Shmona.
It was evident from the start that Kiryat Shmona was more than happy to allow Maccabi to dominate the possession and it soon became apparent that coach Barak Bachar’s game-plan of hitting the yellowand- blue on the break was working to perfection.
The visitors had David Manga’s goal rightfully disallowed for offside in the 10th minute, but just moments later moved ahead through Brown.
The Kiryat Shmona midfielder released an accurate shot from 20 meters out, but goalkeeper Barak Levy, who only started after Juan Pablo was injured in the warm up, could have also done a lot better.
Maccabi continued to move the ball freely until the final third where it rarely managed to breakthrough Kiryat Shmona’s formation.
The second half played out almost identically to the first until the 85th minute.
Badash found space in the box and made no mistake with his header to give the hosts a point they thoroughly deserved.
Elsewhere, Hapoel Haifa sacked coach Reuven Atar on Monday, naming Tal Banin as his replacement. Haifa sits just one point above the relegation zone after dropping to a 2-1 defeat to Hapoel Petah Tikva on Saturday, the team’s third straight loss and fourth over the past five games.
Earlier this month, owner Yoav Katz said he would like Atar to coach the team for the next 10 years. However, two defeats in the team’s two matches since were enough for Katz to send Atar packing.
Banin is back coaching Hapoel Haifa after guiding the team in 2011/12.
Banin went on to guide Maccabi Netanya before being sacked in March 2013, being replaced by Atar.