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YONATAN COHEN and first-place Maccabi Tel Aviv were unable to solve the Bnei Sakhnin defense in a 0-0 draw on Monday night in Israel Premier League action.(Photo by: MAOR ELKASLASI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv held to draw by cellar dweller Sakhnin
Also, Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Haifa drew 1-1 at Teddy Stadium in driving rain.
Israel Premier League table leader Maccabi Tel Aviv and last-place Bnei Sakhnin drew 0-0 at Doha Stadium in the Galilee on Monday night.

Following last week’s 4-1 yellow-and-blue State Cup quarterfinal first-leg win, Maccabi had a tough time trying to beat Sakhnin ’keeper Muhammad Kandil as Omer Atzili peppered the shot stopper throughout the contest to no avail as each side took home one point.

In other action, Hapoel Tel Aviv recorded a huge 1-0 win over Hapoel Beersheba at the Moshava Stadium and is now six points clear of the relegation zone as Claudemir scored a 45th-minute penalty to give the Tel Aviv Reds the victory.

Barak Bachar’s southern squad’s struggles continued after owner Alona Barkat announced her departure from the club to move into the political arena. Beersheba had a chance to draw even in the 54th minute, but Ben
Sahar’s weak spot kick was saved by Tel Aviv ’keeper Robi Levkovich, who quelled every attack to secure the three points.

Coach Kobi Refuah complimented Levkovich after the match.

“He is a having a consistent and very good season. I’m very pleased that he was able to stop the penalty and he helped us take all of the points. This was our biggest win of the season.”

Also, Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Haifa drew 1-1 at Teddy Stadium in driving rain.

The Greens were reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when Georges Mandjeck picked up his second yellow card due to a foul on Yossi Benyaoun.

The hosts took advantage of the extra man in the 45th minute when Antony Varenne slotted home a Samuel Scheimann cross for a 1-0 lead. However, less than a minute later Raz Meir scored off a nifty pass from Sintayehu Sallalich to draw even just ahead of half-time.

Beitar searched for a winner throughout the second half, but was handcuffed by a stingy Haifa defense and had to settle for a split of the points.

Meanwhile, Bnei Yehuda blasted Hapoel Hadera 4-0 as Mavis Tchibota scored a brace in the win for Yossi Abuksis’s squad.

Matan Baltaxa began the parade of goals in the ninth minute when he headed the ball home with authority off a Dolev Haziza corner kick.

Jakub Sylvestr doubled the lead in 30th minute with his first goal for his new club when the Slovakian striker took care of a Shai Konstantin cross.

Before the half-time break, Tchibota scored his first of two when he sent the ball behind Hadera ’keeper Haviv Ohayon off his own rebound for a 3-0 lead. Tchibota completed his brace in the 75th minute when he took advantage of an error by the Hadera central defenders.

Tchibota, the league’s leading scorer, said after the match: “Leading the league in goals? The most important thing that I’m concerned about is that we got the win.”

Maccabi Petah Tikva defeated Kiryat Shmona 2-0 in the northern city as Guy Luzon recorded his second win since taking over the club.

Armando Cooper, the Panamanian star who just joined Petah Tikva, scored the first goal of the contest in the ninth minute. The hosts doubled their lead 20 minutes later thanks to a controversial penalty call by referee Ziv Adler as Lidor Cohen converted the spot kick to secure the victory.

With Ashdod’s 1-0 win over Hapoel Haifa, two streaks were broken at Sammy Ofer Stadium. The port city side won for the first time in 10 matches while the Carmel Reds fell for the first time in 11 contests.

Moshe Ohayon’s Ashdod threatened Ernestas Setkus’s goal time after time until Gal Tsruya beat the Haifa ’keeper via a header in the 63rd minute for the lone goal of the contest.

All Maccabi Netanya needed was a Fatos Beciraj goal to top Hapoel Raanana 1-0. The Montenegrin striker scored from the penalty spot in the 36th minute as the diamond city squad looked to solidify its spot in the championship playoffs.
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