Local soccer: Betar back in first place

Betar returns to first place in the Premier League, two points ahead of Ashdod SC.

betar jerusalem 298.88 (photo credit: www.beitar-jerusalem.net)
betar jerusalem 298.88
(photo credit: www.beitar-jerusalem.net)
Betar Jerusalem coach Yossi Mizrahi won the battle of two Betar legends Sunday night as his team cruised past Uri Malmilian's Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan 2-0 at newly-renovated Winter Stadium in Ramat Gan. Malmilian and Mizrahi played together for 14 years at Betar during the 1970s and 80s, but there was no love lost Sunday. Betar returned to first place in the Premier League, two points ahead of Ashdod SC. First-half goals from Shimon Gershon and Toto Tamuz put the game firmly out of reach, although Betar had enough chances to score four or five. "We won, this is what was important," Mizrahi said. "I think Betar played very well all of the game, but we weren't able to take all the opportunities that we had." Betar had the first chance in the second minute. Michael Zandberg dribbled deep into the Ramat Gan penalty box and played the ball through to Tamuz, whose close-range shot was pushed aside by Hakoah goalkeeper Marshell Uda. The hosts' first real opportunity came in the 19th minute when Ilan Bahar pushed the ball through to Dan Roman, whose fierce shot forced a diving save from Betar 'keeper Itzik Kornfein. But soon the game swung the visitors' way. The first goal came after 24 minutes. Tamuz was brought down 10 meters outside the area after going on one of his many runs. Milovan Mirosevic floated in the ensuing free kick, and unmarked defender Gershon headed it in to give Betar a 1-0 lead. The visitors soon doubled their lead when Tamuz flicked the ball over a Ramat Gan defender, drove toward the goal and fired home. Betar played most of the second half as if it had already won the game, passing the ball around with aplomb but not really threatening the Ramat Gan goal. Hakoah could not find a way to get back into the game. After 68 minutes, the visitors almost scored again when Derek Boateng lofted a shot from 25 meter and Uda deflected it onto the crossbar. The rebound fell to Tamuz, whose shot went wide of the left post.