Local Soccer: Hapoel tops Maccabi in Tel Aviv derby

Hapoel beat the yellow-and-blue 2-0 in the Tel Aviv derby at a sold-out Bloomfield Stadium.

soccer ball 88 (photo credit: )
soccer ball 88
(photo credit: )
Hapoel Tel Aviv piled the misery on Maccabi Tel Aviv Sunday night, beating the yellow-and-blue 2-0 in the Tel Aviv derby at a sold-out Bloomfield Stadium. Maccabi began the season dreaming of a Premier League championship, but now has more losses (six) then victories (five) and is 20 points behind first-place Maccabi Haifa. Eli Driks, in his first and last match as Maccabi coach, was unable to help his team avoid its sixth loss of the season. Everybody at the club is hoping for a new era to begin on Monday when Benny Tabak takes over as coach. With the win, Hapoel moves into second place, two points clear of Betar Jerusalem, and is staying close to Maccabi Haifa. Hapoel was in control for most of the match and had no intention of missing an opportunity to hit bitter rival Maccabi while it is down. Hapoel seized the initiative from the first whistle and could have scored as early as the second minute. Reds striker Ilya Yeborian shot from five meters out, but the ball flew high over the crossbar. Midway throw the first half, Hapoel seized control of possession and began to create chances in front of the goal. The best chance of the half fell to Reds striker Omer Peretz, who in the 25th minute had only 'keeper Liran Strauber to beat, but the Maccabi keeper made the save. Five minutes after Peretz's miss, Maccabi had its best chance of the half. Captain Avi Nimni blasted a free kick from 25 meters out, but Hapoel 'keeper Shavit Elimelech tipped the ball over the crossbar with a leaping save. Three minutes into the second half, Hapoel almost broke the deadlock. Yeborian scored from five meters out, but his goal was wrongly disallowed for an offsides infraction. Ten minutes later, Maccabi had two chances within 10 seconds to go in front. Striker Ro'i Dayan had only Elimelech to beat, but his shot was saved. Giovanni Rosso picked up the rebound, but his shot was also stopped by Elimelech. Maccabi would live to regret the misses, as four minutes later Hapoel went ahead. Strauber was at his best to save Peretz's shot, but he could do nothing to save the rebound by Walid Badier, who coolly scored the goal. Maccabi immediately went on attack and almost equalized. Mesika had a free shot from two meters out, but Elimelech made the save. Five minutes from time the match was decided. Ibizito Ogabuna rose to a corner and left Strauber with no chance as he headed the ball into the left corner.