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Hapoel Beersheba striker Ben Sahar (right) celebrates with Maor Buzaglo.(Photo by: DANNY MARON)
Beersheba’s league lead back up to 10 points
Beitar Jerusalem falls 3-1 to surging Southerners, who also draw Besiktas in Europa League round-of-32.
Hapoel Beersheba registered a club record ninth straight Premier League win on Monday night, beating Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 in Petah Tikva to reestablish a 10-point gap at the top of the table.

Beersheba looked weary at stages, three days after advancing to the Europa League round of 32 with a 1-1 draw in England against Southampton. Claudemir gave Beitar the lead in the 27th minute, but Anthony Nwakaeme leveled the score seven minutes later.

Maor Buzaglo put Beersheba in front from the penalty spot in the 76th minute and secured the three points in stoppage time, taking the team’s overall goal difference over the winning streak to 32-3.

“It was a very significant match, especially after all the celebrations in the Europa League,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar, whose team has picked up 34 of a possible 39 points so far this season. “It was very difficult and we also had a bit of luck, but we knew that Beitar wouldn’t be able to keep up with us at the end.”

Earlier Monday, Hapoel Beersheba was drawn to face Turkish champion Besiktas in the Europa League round-of-32. Beersheba will host the first leg at Turner Stadium on February 16, with the return leg to take place in Istanbul a week later.

Besiktas was handed a place in the Europa League knockout rounds after ending Champions League Group B in third place behind Napoli and Benfica. Besiktas was sent packing from the Champions League following a humbling 6-0 defeat to Dynamo Kiev in its final group match last week.

The Turks will be clear favorites to advance to the last-16, but Beersheba believes in its chances after coming through a group which included Inter Milan and Southampton.

Elsewhere, Bnei Yehuda unveiled its new professional staff on Monday, appointing Yitzhak Shum as sports director and Nissan Yehezkel as head coach. Bnei Yehuda sits in last place with just 10 points and has been without a full-time coach since the sacking of Arik Benado in late October.

The 68-year-old Shum, who has won league and cup titles in Israel and Greece, hasn’t worked at an Israeli club since being sacked by Beitar Jerusalem in February 2010.

Court approves Hap TA request, delays point deduction Tel Aviv District Court judge Eitan Orenstein accepted on Monday Hapoel Tel Aviv’s request for a stay of legal proceedings due to debts estimated at over NIS 100 million, while delaying the ninepoint deduction the club was set to be handed by the Israel Football Association until another hearing is held on the matter on January 11.

Orenstein appointed CPA Hen Berdichev and lawyer Shaul Kotler as trustees, rejecting Hapoel owner Amir Kabiri’s request to name attorney Ron Bar Nir. The trustees will have to try and reach agreements with the club’s many creditors, while looking for a new owner to replace Kabiri as soon as possible.

According to Israel Football Association regulations, a team that is granted a stay of legal proceedings is handed a nine-point deduction.

However, Orenstein voiced his objection to the punishment on Sunday and angered the IFA by suspending the deduction at least until another hearing is held on January 11.

“As this is only a short period of time, I believe that the damage caused by the delay of the deduction doesn’t significantly outweigh the damage caused should the points be deducted immediately,” wrote Orenstein.

The IFA plans to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.
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