Local soccer: Maccabi Haifa breezes over Bnei Yehuda

Haifa climbs to fifth place, moves to within four points of leader Betar Jerusalem.

maccabi haifa 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
maccabi haifa 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Haifa climbed to fifth place in the Premier League standings and moved to within four points of leader Betar Jerusalem on Wednesday night by defeating Bnei Yehuda 2-0 at Kiryat Eliezer. Haifa dominated the match and cruised through the 90 minutes after Shlomi Arbitman gave it the lead in the early going. "The match was completely one-sided," said Haifa coach Roni Levy. "There's no doubt that we are making progress in the last month. Every win we get strengthens us and moves us closer to the top." Bnei Yehuda remained one point above the relegation zone and has not won in its last nine matches. "It's embarrassing to have 10 points at this stage of the season. We are in a deep crisis," Bnei Yehuda coach Nitzan Shirazi said. "We're in a bad situation. "We're not playing like a team that's fighting relegation. We played without heart and soul." Haifa seized the initiative right from the kickoff and took the lead after two minutes. Arbitman tucked in Yaniv Katan's free kick and got the hosts off to an ideal start. Eight minutes later, Arbitman came close to his second goal, but his header was just high and went out off the crossbar. Maccabi continued to control play in the second half and a minute after the interval, Katan failed to beat the visitors' 'keeper Vincent Enyeama when he should have doubled his club's lead. The hosts failed to take advantage of their superior possession, but Bnei Yehuda wasn't even able threaten Haifa's goal and with 12 minutes to go, Maccbai doubled its lead. Enyeama couldn't clear Haim Megrashvili's shot and Roberto Colautti was on hand to turn the ball in. In another makeup match, Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Maccabi Herzilya on Thursday night.