Late equalizer costs Beersheba vital points

Southerners held to 1-1 draw at home by Acre, Hapoel Tel Aviv snaps three-match losing streak with win over Petah Tikva.

Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder Gili Vermut (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder Gili Vermut
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Beersheba dropped two precious points in the Premier League title race on Saturday night, conceding a stoppage- time equalizer to draw 1-1 against lowly Hapoel Acre at Vasermil Stadium.
Despite a far from convincing performance, Beersheba looked to be heading towards its seventh win in its past nine matches thanks to Glynor Plet’s composed finish in the 12th minute.
However, Mirko Oremus’s accurate effort from the edge of the box in the 92nd minute broke Beersheba hearts and means Maccabi Tel Aviv can extend its gap at the top to six points over Beersheba should it defeat Maccabi Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night.
“We began the match really well, but we didn’t play as well in the second half and dropped the points in the final second of the match,” said Beersheba coach Elisha Levy, whose team still extended its unbeaten streak to 10 matches. “We should have found a way to win this match.”
Bnei Yehuda revived its survival hopes with its first victory in more than four months on Saturday, beating Bnei Sakhnin 1-0 to snap its recent impressive run.
Amir Agajev (67) scored the only goal of the match at Doha Stadium in the 67th minute, ending Bnei Yehuda’s six-game losing streak and giving the team from south Tel Aviv its first win after 14 games in what was new coach Yossi Abuksis’s second match at the helm.
“This was a very tough match against a very strong team,” said Abuksis. “The guys gave their all. We weren’t very dangerous, but we were good enough to win the match.”
Sakhnin conceded its first goal following five straight clean sheets and lost after winning five of its previous six contests.
Bnei Yehuda still remained rock-bottom of the standings and finds itself five points from safety after 12th-placed Hapoel Ramat Hasharon fought back to beat Hapoel Ra’anana 2-1 on Saturday.
Mamadou Toure gave Ra’anana the lead in the 48th minute, but Ben Reichert would equalize 10 minutes from time and Ra’anana midfielder Tamir Cohen was sent off one minute later.
Ben Ben-Yair scored the winner in the 85th minute and handed Ra’anana its fifth defeat in its last six games.
After three straight losses, Hapoel Tel Aviv returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Maccabi Petah Tikva thanks to two goals within three second-half minutes.
Petah Tikva, which remains in the relegation zone, lost Shmulik Malul to a reckless sending off two minutes into the second half and Hapoel ultimately capitalized on its one-man advantage through goals from Omer Damari (76) and Gili Vermut (78).
“This is an amazing result for us after three defeats,” said Hapoel coach Ran Ben-Shimon. “We didn’t play very well, but we showed a lot of heart.”
Also Saturday, Ashdod SC beat Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2-1.
Alexander Davidov (45) gave the hosts the lead with a stunning strike on the brink of halftime, but Ahmed Abed would equalize three minutes into the second half before Timor Avitan gave Ashdod all three points seven minutes from the final whistle.
Kiryat Shmona suffered its first defeat after three consecutive victories.
Ashdod remained in eighth place with the win, but now only trails Kiryat Shmona in fourth place by three points.
On Sunday, Hapoel Haifa welcomes Beitar Jerusalem.