Local Soccer: Betar battles to keep pace with Mac Haifa

Local Soccer Betar batt

Betar Jerusalem is in danger of losing pace with Maccabi Haifa if it fails to get the better of Bnei Yehuda at Teddy Stadium on Monday night. The Premier League season is only six matches old, but Betar already finds itself 10 points behind the defending champion entering Monday's encounter. Haifa has won all six of its matches to date, while Jerusalem has yet to hit top form so far this season, winning just twice in its first five games. Itzhak Schum's team suffered its first league defeat of the campaign at Hapoel Beersheba two weeks ago, but midfielder Idan Tal does not feel his side has already fallen too far behind Haifa. "We are not interested with what Haifa is doing. All we care about is Betar," Tal said on Sunday. "We must remain focused against Bnei Yehuda. If we maintain our concentration in defense we will be very difficult to defeat." Both teams will be missing their captains on Monday, with Aviram Bruchian out injured for Betar, and Asi Baldut missing for Bnei Yehuda, which can climb up to second position in the standings with a victory. On Sunday, a mere 350 fans watched Hapoel Acre draw 0-0 with Bnei Sakhnin at the Green Stadium. The dreary deadlock means Acre is still winless this season, with Sakhnin just one place and two points above it in the standings.