Hapoel Tel Aviv triumphs to go top of table

After an erratic start to the season, the reigning champion has found its form in the past couple of months.

Ben Sahar 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Ben Sahar 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv leapfrogged Maccabi Haifa into first position in the Premier League standings in emphatic fashion on Monday night, defeating Hapoel Acre 4-1 at Bloomfield Stadium.
After an erratic start to the season, the reigning champion has found its form in the past couple of months, winning six straight matches by a combined goal difference of 21-2.
Acre had strengthened its position in the top-six with three wins from four games entering Monday’s match, but it was outplayed by Hapoel at Bloomfield, which now leads Haifa on goal difference.
However, there was also some bad, and potentially devastating, news for Tel Aviv on Monday, with starstriker Itai Shechter injuring his right shoulder once more just two minutes into the contest.
The early prognosis is that Shechter will have to undergo a surgical procedure on his problematic shoulder, meaning he could be out for the rest of the season.
After a slow start to the match, Hapoel took the lead in the 31st minute.
Acre goalkeeper Dudu Goresh failed to deal with Shay Abutbul’s cross and Ben Sahar, who came on for Shechter in the sixth minute, slotted in the opener.
Five minutes before the break, Sahar scored his second goal of the night, with Gili Vermut crossing the ball from the right after some great buildup play and the striker heading in his fifth goal in the last four games.
In the 60th minute, the hosts clinched the three points, with Eran Zahavi squaring the ball from the left and Toto Tamuz tucking in his 10th league goal of the season.
Vermut got the goal he deserved five minutes later, toying with the Acre defense before smashing the ball beyond Goresh.
Shimon Harush scored a stunning consolation goal from 30 meters out in the 79th minute, but the match was already long won and Hapoel climbed to the top of the table with another convincing win.