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Hapoel TA soccer 224.88.(Photo by: AP)
Local Soccer: Relegation battle tightens after Hapoel Tel Aviv wins
ALLON SINAI
03/16/2008
Also Saturday, Betar Jerusalem continued to stroll to a second straight league title, thrashing Maccabi Petah Tikva 4-0 at Teddy Stadium.
Just two-points separate four of the bottom five teams in the Premier League after Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Herzliya and Ashdod SC all won on Saturday. Maccabi Tel Aviv, which is eighth in the standings, lost 1-0 to Maccabi Herzliya, with Shalev Menashe scoring the only goal of the match in the 66th minute. Herzliya is tied on points with the yellow-and-blue, with Hapoel Tel Aviv a further point back after defeating Bnei Yehuda 3-2 at Bloomfield Stadium. Ashdod SC remains in the relegation zone, but is only one point behind the Reds thanks to its 3-1 victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba. The excellent Bulgarian striker Dimitar Makriev gave Ashdod the lead in the 12th, but the hosts were in trouble after Samuel Yeboah equalized two minutes later and Rahmin Tzukul was sent off in the 30th minute. Makriev, however, regained Ashdod's lead in the 65th minute and Moshe Ohayon wrapped up the win five minutes later. Also Saturday, Betar Jerusalem continued to stroll to a second straight league title, thrashing Maccabi Petah Tikva 4-0 at Teddy Stadium. Amit Ben-Shushan scored the opener in the 18th minute, with Michael Zandberg (63), Idan Tal (74) and Romulo (90) piling the misery on Petah Tikva in the second half. Ilya Yavruyan's 15th minute goal gave Bnei Sakhnin a 1-0 victory at Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Saturday, boosting the visitors hopes of clinching a UEFA Cup berth. On Sunday, Maccabi Netanya hosts Maccabi Haifa for the second time in five days. Last Wednesday, Netanya defeated Haifa 1-0 in the last 16 of the State Cup. Bnei Yehuda 2, Hapoel Tel Aviv 3 Hapoel trailed at the break to Cedric Bardon's 43rd minute goal, but three goals in 13 second half minutes gave the Reds three vital points in the battle against relegation. In the 50th minute Bnei Yehuda defender Ze'ev Haimovitch turned the ball into his own net to tie the score and three minutes later Shlomi Arbaitman tucked the ball in from two meters out. Ten minutes later Bulgarian Elin Topuzakov gave Hapoel an unassailable lead, scoring after Dele Aiyenugba spilled the ball. Eliran Atar would bring the hosts back within a goal two minutes later, but Hapoel held on for the win, which all but relegates Bnei Yehuda.
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