Bnei Sakhnin blanks Betar at Doha

Betar Jerusalem fails to win for the fifth straight league encounter, with 3-0 loss at hand of rivals.

Yuval Naim 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Yuval Naim 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Bnei Sakhnin continued its impressive start to the Premier League season on Monday night, outclassing rival Betar Jerusalem in a 3-0 victory at the Doha Stadium.
Sakhnin, which is unbeaten in its last five matches, triumphed for the fifth time in five home games this season, while Betar Jerusalem failed to win for the fifth straight league encounter, and after a promising start to the campaign, is quickly discovering that it belongs in the bottom half of the standings.
Sakhnin dominated from the start and scored the breakthrough after just seven minutes.
Aviram Bruchian lost the ball in the center of the field and Ori Shitrit sent through Ohad Kadusi, who surprised Betar ’keeper Ariel Harush with his accurate shot to the near post.
Sakhnin thought it had doubled its lead just five minutes later, but Kostadin Hazurov was adjudged to have been offside by centimeters.
Ten minutes from the break, Maharan Radi rattled the crossbar with a thunderous free kick from 20 meters out and Betar was fortunate to only be trailing by a single goal at halftime.
Jerusalem needed Dan Eibinder to clear Kadusi’s shot from the line 10 minutes into the second half, but the hosts would have to wait just six more minutes to effectively secure the three points.
An excellent break forward was completed by Joel Damahou’s shot from the edge of the area, and despite having Oded Elkayam sent off in the 75th minute, Hazurov added a third goal five minutes from time.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv are licking their wounds after suffering humbling Premier League defeats on Sunday.
Haifa’s 3-0 home defeat to Ironi Kiryat Shmona was already its third in nine matches this season, which is equal to the number of losses it suffered on its way to the league title last season.
“We fell apart. I’ve been here for many years and I can’t remember such a poor performance,” said captain Yaniv Katan, who made his debut for the Greens in 1998.
“We made many mistakes and paid for them. We disgraced the club and the fans. You can lose a game, but not like this. This is a difficult moment for us and we will need to find a way to get the club back on track.”
While Haifa trails league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv by seven points, Hapoel Tel Aviv is just two points behind its arch-rival despite Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Ashdod SC.
However, Hapoel coach Dror Kashtan admitted that his team has struggled to hit top form this season and midfielder Nosa Igiebor is hoping Sunday’s loss will act as a wake-up call for his team.
“Maybe we think we are the best, but even if we are the best we have to prepare more,” Igiebor said. “I think this loss is a lesson for us.
The only thing I can promise is that we will continue to improve.”