Beersheba sends defending champ Mac TA to first defeat

Hapoel Beersheba shatters Maccabi Tel Aviv’s aura of invincibility, breaths new life into Premier League title race.

Siraj Nasar 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Siraj Nasar 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Beersheba shattered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s aura of invincibility and breathed new life into the Premier League title race on Monday night, claiming a 3-2 win in a topsyturvy encounter at Vasermil Stadium.
Beersheba came back from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead seven minutes into the second half and claimed all three points thanks to Dovev Gabai’s 73rd minute strike after Tal Ben-Haim had equalized for Maccabi.
Tel Aviv had conceded just a single goal in seven matches entering the showdown in Beersheba, but it now finds itself just two points clear of the southerners in the standings after falling to its first loss of the season.
The hosts gifted Tel Aviv the opener in the 10th minute, with Gal Erel’s reckless flick falling right into the path of Dabbur, who coolly beat ‘keeper Austin Ejide.
Beersheba equalized against the run of play in the 31st minute, with Siraj Nasar’s free kick from 30 meters out bemusing goalkeeper Juan Pablo after taking a slight deflection.
Maccabi flew out of the gate at the start of the second half, but it was Beersheba which struck at the other end.
Elyaniv Barda looked to be marginally offside, but the linesman never raised his flag and the striker sent an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area into the top right corner.
However, it would take Maccabi just two minutes to get back on level terms.
William Soares slipped on the right flank and Maharan Radi took full advantage, squaring the ball for the incoming Tal Ben-Haim who made no mistake from three meters out.
Nevertheless, Gabai would take advantage of a Tibi slip in the 73rd minute, collecting the ball and surging past Shiran Yeini before slotting in the winner to send the local fans into delirium.