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It was another frustrating match for team captain Dan Einbinder (center) and Beitar Jerusalem last night, with the team suffering a 1-0 defeat to Bnei Sakhnin at Teddy Stadium..(Photo by: DANNY MARON)
Bnei Sakhnin shocks Beitar Jerusalem with 85th-minute winner
Maccabi’s title challenge has collapsed over recent weeks.
Ramzi Safouri’s stunning goal in the 85th minute gave Bnei Sakhnin a 1-0 win over Beitar Jerusalem at Teddy Stadium on Monday night, piling the pressure on Beitar’s already under-fire coach Ran Ben-Shimon.

Beitar dominated the possession and created the better chances, but Sakhnin’s game-plan worked to perfection, with substitute Safouri hitting Jerusalem on the break with an unstoppable effort into the top left corner from the edge of the area.

Beitar hasn’t beaten Sakhnin at Teddy in seven years and dropped to just its second defeat of the season on Monday.

Ben-Shimon’s team remains in fifth place in the standings, but has won only three of 11 matches overall and sits just five points above the relegation zone.

“We were in control, but no one cares about that,” said Ben-Shimon, who heard fans calling for his resignation throughout the match. “We need to find a way to win matches. It is hard to understand how we lost this match.”

Sakhnin moved up to seventh place with the sweet triumph against its bitter rival, one point back of Beitar.

“This is a great win,” said Sakhnin coach Yossi Abuksis, who admitted he is considering leaving the team for the vacant coaching position at Bnei Yehuda.

“We played almost perfectly on defense, and while we didn’t attack much, we scored a sensational goal. The players gave their all and deserve a lot of credit.”

Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv began picking up the pieces from Sunday’s shock 1-0 defeat to Bnei Yehuda that left it eight points back of Hapoel Beersheba in first place.

Maccabi’s title challenge has collapsed over recent weeks, with the yellow-andblue winning just one of its past five league matches, failing to score a goal in four of those games. Maccabi’s first chance to bounce back will be in Wednesday’s Toto Cup quarterfinal second leg at Ironi Kiryat Shmona.

Tel Aviv won the first leg 3-2. Maccabi then hosts rock-bottom Hapoel Ashkelon in league action on Saturday and Dundalk of Ireland in its final Europa League group match next Thursday.
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