Tel Aviv derby ends in entertaining draw

Leader Hapoel Beersheba escapes with late draw vs Ashdod • Both Jerusalem clubs victorious

 Picture of Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Hapoel Tel Aviv. (photo credit: BERNEY ARDOV)
Picture of Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Hapoel Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: BERNEY ARDOV)

Maccabi and Hapoel played to a 1-1 Premier League draw on Sunday night in an exciting Tel Aviv derby that saw end-to-end action and fantastic saves as the sides split the points.

Hapoel drew first blood with an early goal via Osher Davida to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.

However, Mohamed Traore was issued a second yellow card after accidentally kicking Maccabi midfielder Gaby Kanichowsky in the face, reducing Nir Klinger’s squad to 10 men for the final 30 minutes of the contest.

With the extra man, Barak Itzhaki’s squad found the equalizer as Brandley Kuwas banged home the tying goal off of a deflection from a corner kick in the 75th minute as the game ended in with the teams even

“I’m satisfied with the result despite the situation,” said Klinger said following the game. “The early goal we scored played a psychological trick on us as we started to go back a bit and let Maccabi attack. But once we had a player sent off we had to put the tactics aside and save the result.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv lost 2-0 to Ashdod SC at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night. (credit: ARIEL SHALOM)Maccabi Tel Aviv lost 2-0 to Ashdod SC at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night. (credit: ARIEL SHALOM)

Maccabi interim coach Itzhaki saw the game a bit differently.

“This was a one-sided match that we controlled before they had a player sent off and after he was sent off but we couldn’t find a winner. Hapoel’s keeper Ernestas Setkus was incredible and deserves a lot of credit. We are not playing well and we have to prepare ourselves from game to game and build up the confidence in the players.”

By the Carmel, Maccabi Haifa blanked Ironi Kiryat Shmona 4-0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium to move to within two points of table leader Hapoel Beersheba.

Dean David scored from close in the 16th minute to give the Greens a 1-0 lead while Muhamed Abu Fani doubled the advantage 25 minutes later as he put home a nice ball from Omer Atzily to head into the break ahead 2-0.

Tjaron Chery gave Barak Bachar’s squad a 3-0 lead while Atzily scored the final goal of the evening in the 90th minute thanks to an assist by youngster Roi Elimelech, who was making his debut, to run away with the win.

“The players deserve to celebrate,” Bachar said. “We are just finishing a very busy period for us that had a lot of pressure. We knew we had to play well and we did just that. This was a very important win for us and we wanted to head into the break with a smile on our faces.”

In the capital, Hapoel Jerusalem won its second game in a row thanks to a William Agada brace to down Maccabi Netanya 2-1 at Teddy Stadium.

Netanya’s Parfait Guiagon sent a 25-meter scorcher into the Jerusalem goal to grab the lead for Netanya in the 35th minute, but Agada scored his first of two goals a minute into the second half to draw the hosts even at 1-1.

However, that wasn’t enough for Ziv Arie’s team as Agada headed home a Guy Badash ball to take the victory and the three points.

“We were prepared tactically for this game but then we made a change because the players weren’t comfortable and we were shredded in the first half,” Arie explained after the match. “We switched things up and scored a quick goal in the second half which gave the players confidence and we held them to minimal chances the rest of the way.”

In the southern capital, Hapoel Beersheba needed a 90th-minute goal by Nikita Rukavytsya to rescue a point against Ashdod SC as the sides played to a 1-1 draw at Turner Stadium.

Nenad Cvetkovic scored off a corner kick in the 23rd minute to give Ran Ben Shimon’s squad a 1-0 lead, but Rukavytsya saved Roni Levy’s side by putting in a late strike to snatch a point.

“We didn’t start the game well and gave up a goal off a set-piece,” Levy said following the game. “We chased Ashdod all game long. They are a quality team that knows how to hold onto the ball extremely well. But when they started to move back a bit, we were able to get back into the match as we took chances with attacking players which finally paid off at the end.”

Meanwhile, Beitar Jerusalem overwhelmed Maccabi Petah Tikva 3-0 as Yarden Shua scored a brace to lead the visitors to the win.

The capital city squad stunned the hosts just two minutes into the game as Shua finished off a beautiful team play to give Beitar a quick 1-0 lead. Shua then doubled the advantage when Orel Dagani sent the striker on his way with a tremendous through-ball to go up 2-0.

Marko Jankovic’s attempt went off Or Blorian and into the back of the Petah Tikva goal in the 59th minute to wrap up the tidy win.

“We were very effective and the team played well against a club that is very strong,” said Beitar coach Erwin Koeman. “We played like a team and there was pressure on us after last game. I am very happy for the players and staff as we all worked hard to get back on track.”

Also, Hapoel Haifa and Bnei Sakhnin played to an entertaining 2-2 draw as Alon Turgeman scored a pair of goals for the visitors in the Galilee city.

Turgeman opened the scoring in the 34th minute as the ball suited through Sakhin’s keeper Gadi Amos’s legs for the lead, but the hosts came right back to draw even at 1-1 thanks to a Guy Melamed strike at the stroke of halftime.

Turgeman helped Elisha Levy’s squad to retake the lead in the 49th minute via a header, but Sharon Mimer’s side found the equalizer via Mufleh Shalata to split the points.

“Coaches are never happy when their team doesn’t win,” Levy said following the game. “The crowd enjoyed the show and we saw two teams that came to play. At every stage of the game, both teams were attacking and anyone who enjoys Israeli soccer definitely enjoyed this contest.”

Finally, Hapoel Hadera and Hapoel Nof Hagalil played to a dry goalless draw as each team took home a point.