Maccabi Tel Aviv overwhelms Kfar Saba

Cohen leads yellow-and-blue with goal and two assists • Maccabi Haifa downs Beitar Jerusalem.

HAPOEL HAIFA (in black) and Hapoel Beersheba played to an exciting 2-2 draw on Monday night in Premier League action at Teddy Stadium. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
HAPOEL HAIFA (in black) and Hapoel Beersheba played to an exciting 2-2 draw on Monday night in Premier League action at Teddy Stadium.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
In Israel Premier League Round 8 action, Maccabi Tel Aviv blanked Hapoel Kfar Saba 3-0 over the weekend in perhaps its best performance of the season.
Aleksandar Pesic continued his goal scoring prowess with a brilliant strike from a Yonatan Cohen cross in the 38th minute while Dan Bitton doubled the advantage right before the break thanks to another Cohen assist.
Finally in the 53rd minute Cohen headed home a goal of his own to give the yellow-and-blue the three points.
“Following our draw with Villarreal in the Europa League I felt confident in our situation,” said Maccabi coach Giorgos Donis. “We are improving game to game, creating chances and battling. We just need to keep on this way both as individuals and as a club.”
Goal-scorer Pesic also spoke about the victory.
“I feel that I am getting better and better each game. The team continues to attack and that is good for strikers and it’s important that I touch the ball as much as possible as I’ll continue to try to score and hand out assists.”
Meanwhile, Maccabi Haifa easily dropped Beitar Jerusalem 2-0 on Monday night as the Greens scored a pair of first-half goals to take the three points.
Dolev Haziza roofed a perfect shot past Beitar ’keeper Itamar Nitzan in the 34th minute to give Haifa a 1-0 lead while Nikita Rukavytsya scored just before the break to take the win.
“Today things worked out perfectly and we scored a pair of goals,” exclaimed Haifa coach Barak Bachar.  “We came into this game very well prepared after not playing well in the derby. We worked hard on the mental side of the game.”
Beitar coach Slobodan Drapic was at a loss for words after the defeat.
“The first half was the worst for me as a coach. We tried to play but we had some injuries. We have to get the guys ready differently and hopefully we will look better next week.”
Elsewhere, Hapoel Beersheba and Hapoel Haifa played to a 2-2 draw at Teddy Stadium on Monday night.
Hanan Maman launched a 18-meter scorcher to beat Ohad Levita but just a few minutes later Itamar Shviro drew the hosts even at 1-1. Rotem Hatuel gave Beersheba a 2-1 lead just ahead of halftime, but Kayes Ganem – who on loan from Beersheba to Haifa – found the back of the goal to split the points.
“What a disappointing result, but many youngsters played well,” said Beersheba coach Yossi Abukasis. “We have many injuries so a number of players had a chance to play. When we were up 2-1 we should have finished off the game, but in soccer when you don’t score you concede.”
Haifa’s bench boss Haim Silvas summed up the draw.
“This was a crazy game and it went back and forth throughout. We had chances and we scored and a game with four goals is always enjoyable, but still disappointing not to have been able to win.”
Also, Maccabi Petah Tikva slipped by Hapoel Hadera 1-0 thanks to Arad Bar’s 47th-minute goal as the youngster finished off a nice passing play between Asmir Suljic and Liel Abada to help the hosts to the three points.
Interim Petah Tikva coach Naor Luzon spoke about the victory.
“The most important thing for us was that we won and I am happy that the younger players knew how to manage the pressure to take the points.”
“We played a quality team evenly and it is too bad that the points went their way,” said Hadera coach Sharon Mimer. “We will need to start picking up points ourselves so that we can do some nice things this season.”
Bnei Sakhnin got back onto the winning track with a 1-0 win over Ashdod at Doha Stadium. Beram Kayal delivered a pinpoint-perfect corner to Ihab Ganayim, who headed the ball behind ’keeper Yoav Gerafi to take the victory.
“We saw the team that I wanted to build,” said Sakhnin coach Niso Avitan. “The players deserve credit for the win and for coming back from a tough loss last week. We have a big roster with quality players and hopefully we will be able to do that as quickly as possible.
“Beram Kayal, who returned from a decade in Britain, did a good job on the pitch today and is not only a leader but someone who the younger players will look up to.”
Man-of-the-match, Kayal, who assisted on the goal, also reflected on the win.
“This win was very important for the club after what happened last week. But we looked like a team this game and we took the points. I am here to help the younger players and give them tips along the way.”
“I want to win every game but this is part of life,” explained losing coach Ran Ben Shimon. “The game began unexpectedly for us and we had chances but we missed. Sakhnin battled throughout and they deserve credit.”
Bnei Yehuda downed Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 as Muhamed Ghadir headed in a 74th-minute corner from Matija Ljujić to take the points.
“A win always brings quiet to a club,” said Bnei Yehuda interim coach Kfir Edri following a very tough week that surrounded the club with head coach Nir Berkovich being sacked. “This past week was unpleasant but that is what the world of soccer is. We will do our best for the time being and give our utmost.”
Hapoel coach Nir Klinger reflected on the defeat.
“We are playing well and I believe that was Bnei Yehuda’s only chance to score all game. We should have been leading 3-0 after the first half, but instead we are just chasing goals.”
Maccabi Netanya and Ironi Kiryat Shmona played to a goalless draw at the Netanya Stadium as the sides split the points in what was a fiery encounter.
Kiryat Shmona had a goal disallowed in the 13th minute while Netanya’s Zlatan Sehovic was issued a pair of yellow cards in a minute as he was sent off in the second half.
“We came here to win,” said Kiryat Shmona coach Kobi Refuah. “But we didn’t make the correct decisions. We had some good opportunities, but couldn’t finish them off as both sides played attacking football. We will pick up our heads and move on.”
Netanya bench boss Raymond Atteveld also reflected on the game.
“We had some quality chances and all in all I’m happy with how we played and that we didn’t concede a goal when we went down a man.”