Bnei Sakhnin downs Maccabi TA

The most surprising 1-0 win represents Bnei Sakhnin's first victory of the season.

Yaniv Abergil's second half goal was enough to give Bnei Sakhnin its first win of the season - and to record the most surprising result of the season so far - a 1-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv at the new Doha Stadium in Sakhnin. Sakhnin may not have the money Maccabi has to bring in star players like Avi Nimni and Eyal Berkovic, but Sakhnin more than makes up for it with desire and effort. Both teams could not sustain a high level of play in pouring rain and the scrappy game suited Sakhnin's fighters much more then Tel-Aviv's stars. "Sakhnin dragged us to play their type of game and we couldn't beat them that way," said Maccabi coach Nir Klinger afterwards. Klinger is left once again to ponder what has gone so wrong in a season that promised so much when it began just a couple months ago. Both teams were missing a significant midfielder at the start, but for contrasting reasons. Israeli international Abbas Suan was desperate to play for Sakhnin, but could not overcome his leg injury. Maccabi was without former Israeli international Eyal Berkovic, who was left on the substitutes' bench for tactical reasons by coach Klinger. The match began well, with both teams looking for an early goal. Tel Aviv was unlucky not to be ahead after four minutes, when Jose Duarte slotted the ball into the net past 'keeper Meir Cohen, only for the goal to be wrongly disallowed by the linesman for offside. Maccabi continued to push forward, but Duarte's lack of concentration cost the team dearly. Six minutes after his disallowed goal, Duarte was unmarked in the Sakhnin box but his poor shot rolled harmlessly by Cohen's post. Sakhnin always seemed content with a draw and was happy to try and catch Maccabi on the break. In the 24th minute Sakhnin had its best chance of the half, when Pascal Condofoni had only 'keeper Liran Strauber to beat but his pathetic chip flew over the crossbar. Midway through the half the rain began to fall and both teams looked more interested in keeping dry then in scoring a goal. The rest of the half passed by with neither team coming close to scoring. The second half began much like the first ended, and even Berkovic's introduction in the 52nd minute did not help matters. The stalemate was finally broken in the 67th minute by an individual moment of brilliance. Sakhnin striker Abergil picked up the ball in the left flank, ran unnoticed up the field and hit an unstoppable right-footed shot beyond Strauber in the Maccabi goal. Despite its desperate attempts, Tel Aviv could not marshal itself to a serious assault on the Sakhnin goal and was disappointed for a second straight week.