Hap TA keeps rolling with shutout of Acre

Hap Beersheba in for tough test as it looks to snap skid against league-leader Mac TA.

Hapoel Tel Aviv's Israel Zaguri 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv's Israel Zaguri 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv moved up to third place in the Premier League standings on Sunday night, comfortably beating Hapoel Acre 2-0 in Netanya.
Tel Aviv struggled to break down Acre’s defense in the first half, with the visitors quick to close down the Reds, who were hosting the match in Netanya due to the resurfacing of the pitch at Bloomfield Stadium.
However, Tel Aviv looked like a completely different team in the second half, clinching the win with two goals in six minutes.
After maintaining the deadlock with two excellent saves, goalkeeper Dudu Goresh could to nothing to deny Israel Zaguri the opener from close range in the 57th minute before Roei Gordana secured the three points with an accurate volley from the center of the box five minutes later.
“We are progressing nicely,” said Tel Aviv coach Ran Ben-Shimon, whose club has now won four of its last six league contests.
“We believe that if we can combine a few wins we will be able to show the true Hapoel.”
On Monday, league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv will look to extend its gap to six points when it visits Hapoel Beersheba at Vasermil Stadium.
Maccabi seems to be strolling to its second straight championship after opening the season with six wins from seven matches, amassing a goal difference of 14-1.
With Maccabi Haifa picking up just a miserable eight points from its first eight games following Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Hapoel Ra’anana and Hapoel Tel Aviv struggling for consistency, the yellowand- blue doesn’t even seem to have a serious challenger for the title.
Beersheba would love to carry that mantle and it looked to be capable of doing so after opening its campaign with four consecutive victories for the first time in club history.
However, it has picked up just two points from its three matches since.
“Maccabi Tel Aviv is in the best form in Israel at the moment,” said Beersheba coach Elisha Levy.
“We are returning to Vasermil and there’s no reason we shouldn’t believe that we are capable of beating any team.”
Striker Elyaniv Barda, perhaps optimistically, likened Maccabi to Spanish powerhouse Barcelona.
“At its current rate, Maccabi is the Barcelona of the Israeli league,” said Barda. “But we are playing at home and we need to get back on track.”
The biggest concern for Maccabi coach Paulo Sousa ahead of Monday’s showdown seems to be the fact that just three days later his team will be hosting Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League at Bloomfield Stadium.
Maccabi is the only team in Europa action this week that will play in its local league on Monday, with Frankfurt having a five-day break between matches after losing to Wolfsburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
“I think Maccabi, myself and everybody related to Maccabi is completely disappointed to be playing on Monday,” Sousa said on Sunday.
“The other teams in our group played on Saturday or maximum on Sunday and I think it is really disappointing as it hurts our hopes to promote Israeli [soccer] in Europe.”