Local Soccer: Betar jumps up to fourth with 1-0 triumph

Local Soccer Betar jump

Betar Jerusalem overcame a poor start to defeat Bnei Yehuda 1-0 at Teddy Stadium on Monday evening, rejuvenating its Premier League season. Amit Ben-Shushan secured the three points for Itzhak Schum's side with a quality individual goal early in the second half. The result moved the team from the capital up to fourth in the league standings, but still seven points off leader Maccabi Haifa. Bnei Yehuda fell to fifth position, equal on points with Betar but with a worse goal differential than now third-place Maccabi Tel Aviv and Betar. Betar goalkeeper Ariel Harush was responsible for ensuring his club's opponents from southern Tel Aviv went home empty handed, pulling off a string of super saves in the closing minutes. Eliran Atar was the visiting side's top performer, most notably in the second half when he was unlucky not to grab an equalizer, mostly due to Israel Under-21 goalkeeper Harush's strength between the sticks. After going down 3-2 at Hapoel Beersheba in its last league game, Betar was desperate for a victory to lift the spirits and keep the pace on Haifa. But it wasn't easy going, especially in a tight first half. Toto Tamuz, making his first appearance in Betar's starting 11 this season, was the liveliest player on the pitch for the first 45 minutes. His best chance to take the lead came not long before the break when he was one on one with Bnei Yehuda goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba only to see left back Dean Mori more step in and knock the ball away. At the other end Omir Afek had an opportunity to take revenge on his former club but shot to the left of Haursh's goal. The game finally came alive seven minutes after the restart, when Ben-Shushan broke forward, went past three defenders and unleashed a stinging effort which deflected off Ivan Garrido into the back of the net. The home side woke up after taking the lead and nearly scored a second within a minute when Barak Itzhaki fired in a shot from outside the area only to see Aiyenugba save well to his left. Jerusalem continued to press forward but it was Atar who had the best chances of the last quarter of an hour, nearly scoring from close range one one occasion before Harush dived at his feet to save superbly. Sakhnin sacks coach Kulik Eran Kulik was sacked as Bnei Sakhnin coach on Monday night. Kulik joined the club in March and saved it from relegation. However, the team claimed just a single win in its first six matches this season, and after Sunday's disappointing 0-0 draw at Hapoel Acre, the Sakhnin management decided it was time for a change.