Beitar squanders 2-goal cushion to draw with Acre

Amid electricity shortage, Beitar concedes late goals to extend winless streak to 10 matches; Acre coach praises comeback.

BEITAR JERUSALEM’S Avi Rikan 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Beitar Jerusalem’s Premier League winless streak reached 10 matches on Monday night after a Yuval Shabtai goal in the third minute of stoppage time gave Hapoel Acre a 2-2 draw at Teddy Stadium.
Beitar seemed to be cruising to its first win in two-and-a-half months when it took a 2-0 lead in the 30th minute.
After going six months without a league goal, Amit Ben-Shushan scored for the third time in two matches in the 10th minute. Shortly afterwards, the match had to be delayed for seven minutes when part of the stadium’s floodlights failed.
However, the momentum remained with Beitar, with Hen Azriel coolly doubling the advantage from the penalty spot in the 30th minute following a Srda Knezevic handball.
Acre looked lost but a sumptuous strike by Shabtai from 20 meters out with 10 minutes to play handed the visitors a lifeline and the midfielder gave his team a share of the spoils deep into injury time after the Beitar defense failed again.
“Instead of scoring more goals we conceded,” said Beitar coach Eli Cohen. “They had nothing to lose and sent everybody forward.”
With four matches to play, Beitar holds a six-point cushion from the relegation zone.
Acre moved two points clear of the bottom two with the draw.
“I don’t think there are many teams that would have come back from two goals down in Teddy,” said Acre coach Yuval Naim, who was sacked by Beitar last February. “We will fight for our lives until the very end.”