Local Soccer: Atar's scintillating scissor-kick lights up Bloomfield

In other action Saturday, Maccabi Haifa beats bottom club Hakoach, Maccabi Tel Aviv wins at Kiryat Shmona.

bnei yehuda 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
bnei yehuda 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Bnei Yehuda and Maccabi Netanya shared the points at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday in a compelling 1-1 draw, which will be remembered for what will surely be one of the best goals seen worldwide this weekend. In other action Saturday, Maccabi Haifa beat bottom club Hakoach, Maccabi Tel Aviv won at Kiryat Shmona, while both Ashdod versus Maccabi Petah Tikva, and Hapoel Petah Tikva against Bnei Sakhnin ended one each. With 56 minutes on the clock at Bloomfield, an Itzik Azouz cross appeared to be floating just beyond Eliran Atar, but the young Bnei Yehuda striker jumped up, swiveled and planted a sensational scissor-kick into the top corner. Netanya 'keeper Liran Strauber could only watch in bewilderment, and while referee Meir Levy booked Atar for taking off his shirt in celebration, he apologized profusely to the striker as if to tell him that he wished he didn't have to ruin the moment, but he had to follow the rules. It was no more than Bnei Yehuda's dominance deserved, and Guy Luzon's men could easily have gone into the dressing room at half-time two goals up. On 17 minutes, Pedro Galvan struck the foot of the post after a terrific turn past Bevan Fransman, and the Argentine then showed some sublime control before playing in Atar, whose shot was tipped over by Strauber. Lothar Matthaus's men were far too reluctant to throw caution to the wind, although Avi Knafo did skew a shot wide just before the interval. Atar's astonishing goal seemed to spark some life into Netanya, and after Dele Aiyenugba had tipped over Alberto Blanco's powerful drive, the visitors drew level. Itai Shechter flicked on a long-ball and substitute Snir Gueta's volley bounced past a motionless Aiyenugba. Netanya finished the match strongly, and after Dela Yampolsky headed a Klemi Saban cross just wide, he somehow contrived to tamely knock the ball into Aiyenugba's arms with the goal at his mercy. Luzon hailed Atar's goal and indicated that the youngster should soon be picked for Israel's national squad. "Atar's goal was an absolute pleasure to see," said the Bnei Yehuda coach. "I don't need to give any advice to the national team coach, but if Eliran is good enough he'll be in the squad." Ironi Kiryat Shmona 1, Maccabi Tel Aviv 2 After some shrewd signings and Wednesday's Toto Cup victory, Avi Nimni's men suddenly seem to be full of confidence, coming from behind on Saturday to beat Kiryat Shmona, thanks to goals from newcomers Igor Tomasic and Haim Megrelashvili. Nimni paid tribute to his players for a "deserved" victory after a difficult week. "We played on Monday against Maccabi Haifa and then on Wednesday in the Toto Cup," he said. "There are players who have played a lot, and we saw some players [today] whose muscles started to cramp up after 70 minutes. But this victory belongs to them and only them. They deserve it." Maccabi fell behind in comical fashion on 36 minutes when 'keeper Dragoslav Jevric fumbled a Guy Tzarfati comer over the line, but the hosts turned the game around on either side of half-time. Megrelashvili slotted in an Igor Tomasic center for the equalizer, and Trinidadian Scott Sealy met a Maor Buzaglo cross at the front-post to score the winner. Maccabi Haifa 2, Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan 0 Top beat bottom in a one-sided game at Kiryat Eliezer on Saturday night, as Maccabi Haifa pulled six points clear at the summit. The league leader went in front a minute before the break. The overall disappointing Thembinkosi Fanteni flicked the ball on to Yaniv Katan, who exquisitely curled it beyond the reach of Hakoach stopper Danny Amos. The hosts went two up just past the hour thanks to an absolute cracker from the in-form Gustavo Boccoli. A Katan cross was headed clear to the edge of the box, but the Brazilian took a touch before smashing the ball into the top corner for his second goal in as many games. Ashdod SC 1, Maccabi Petah Tikva 1 Ashdod's poor form continued on Saturday night, as the hosts conceded a last-minute goal just when a confidence-boosting victory was in sight. The home team took an early lead when Dimitar Makriev headed in a rebound after hitting the bar from an Idan Sade cross, but Petah Tikva's Ori Luzon slammed in a 90th-minute free-kick to break Ashdod fans' hearts. Hapoel Petah Tikva 1, Bnei Sakhnin 1 The visitors took the lead against the run of play when Ahmed Kassoum's weak effort crept past Shavit Elimelech, but just three minutes later, Petah Tikva wonder-kid Shimon Abuhatzera got past Sakhnin 'keeper Meir Cohen and slotted the ball home to break his goal drought.