Local Soccer: Newcomer's late goal saves Bnei Yehuda
George Amsis' volley cancels out Dimitar Makriev's 68th minute strike in 1-1 draw at Ashdod SC.
By ALLON SINAI
An 89th-minute goal by debutant George Amsis gave Bnei Yehuda a 1-1 draw at Ashdod SC on Sunday night.
The 18-year-old midfielder entered the match as a substitute in the 80th minute and cancelled out Dimitar Makriev's 68th minute goal with a powerful volley.
"I'm glad we equalized, but we should have scored earlier," Bnei Yehuda coach Guy Luzon said following his team's first league match of the season. "We paid the price for our misses, but I'm pleased we managed to comeback despite the fact that our players were tired from Thursday's Europa League match."
Bnei Yehuda, which visits PSV Eindhoven in the second leg of the Europa League playoffs on Thursday after losing the first leg 1-0, hosts Ahi Nazareth in its next league match.
Both Ashdod and Bnei Yehuda had chances to take the lead in the first half, but it wasn't until the 68th minute that the deadlock was broken.
The Bnei Yehuda defense failed to clear the ball and Makriev made the most of the melee and slotted in the opener. Ashdod seemed to be heading for the victory, but its 'keeper Dragan Stojkic gifted the visitors a corner a minute from time and Amsis tied the match by latching on to the subsequent set-piece.
On Monday, Betar Jerusalem hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv in the main match of the first weekend of the season.
"You are always excited ahead of the first match of the season and especially ahead of an encounter like this," Betar striker Barak Itzhaki said. "We started our preparations for the season late, but that is no excuse. Hapoel is in good form, but we are just as good."
Midfielder Michael Zandberg, who moved from Betar to Hapoel over the summer, will be facing his former team for the first time on Monday.
"Zandberg is a good friend and excellent player," said Itzhaki. "I hope he saves his best for another match."
The game will be broadcast on Channel 1 at 8:50.
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