Local Soccer: Nimni feels heat as Bnei Yehuda beats Mac TA

Maccabi Haifa goes two points clear at the top with 3-1 win at Ashdod.

nimmni nimni 88 (photo credit: )
nimmni nimni 88
(photo credit: )
After making a dream start to his coaching career, the pressure is now mounting on Avi Nimni, and after losing 3-2 against Bnei Yehuda on Saturday evening, his Maccabi Tel Aviv side is falling ominously toward the bottom of the table. In other action Saturday, Maccabi Haifa went two points clear at the top with a 3-1 win at Ashdod, while Hapoel Tel Aviv beat Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan 3-0. Maccabi Tel Aviv started disastrously, falling behind after only four minutes. Bnei Yehuda's Eliran Atar received the ball from a quick throw, broke into the area and cut the ball back to Pedro Galvan, who scored with the aid of a deflection off Lior Jan. Maccabi fell further behind on 33 minutes when Atar headed in a Hrvoje Kovacevic free-kick and, three minutes later, things went from bad to worse for Nimni's men. Galvan's cross-field pass found Tomer Hemed, whose low cross from the right was knocked in by the sliding Assi Baldout. Bnei Yehuda went from wonderful to woeful after the break and nearly threw away the points. On 58 minutes, Maccabi's Maor Buzaglo and Yannick Kamanan linked-up well, setting up Emmanuel Mayuka to slip the ball into an empty net. Eight minutes later, Kamanan headed down a corner for Jan to blast the ball in off the turf. Bnei Yehuda held on for the points, but Guy Luzon was seething after his side's second-half display, which he called "unacceptable." The Bnei Yehuda coach said he was "very, very angry" with his players and called for more "stability" in the coming weeks. Ashdod SC 1, Maccabi Haifa 3 There was no great comeback this time from Ashdod. After an impressive start, Yossi Mizrahi's men went behind at the end of the first-half and simply fell apart against a superb Maccabi Haifa side. The formidable Thembinkosi Fanteni broke the deadlock, out-muscling Rogerio Dos Santos to latch onto a Biram Kiyal pass and stroking the ball into an empty net after knocking it past Ashdod 'keeper Yossi Shekel. The away side doubled its lead four minutes after the interval with an absolute peach of a goal by Eyal Golasa. The youngster, playing for the injured John Culma, picked up a Lior Rafaelov pass 30 meters from goal, beat two Ashdod men and spectacularly clipped the ball into the top corner. Haifa's third goal came five minutes from time. Yaniv Katan played a great through-ball to Alon Harazi, and the veteran right-back crossed for Kiyal, who finished low to Shekel's left. Shai Holtzman got a last-minute consolation goal for Ashdod from the penalty spot. Hapoel Tel Aviv 3, Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan 0 After Monday night's derby day delight, Hapoel Tel Aviv and the sensational Samuel Yeboah continued to impress on Saturday afternoon with a convincing victory against basement boys Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan. A backpedaling Yeboah started the ball rolling in the tenth minute by heading in an Shai Abutbul free-kick, and the Ghanaian bagged his second six minutes into the second half, nodding in a wonderful outside-of-the-boot cross by Gili Vermuth. Yeboah was also involved in the third goal, linking up with Maharan Lala before crossing for the diving Vermuth to crash the ball in off the underside of the bar. To make matters worse for Hakoach, Michael Tukura was sent of 14 minutes from time for elbowing Hapoel defender Elin Topuzakov in the face. Maccabi Netanya 0, Maccabi Petah Tikva 0 Maccabi Netanya coach Lothar Matthaus appears to have his work cut out if he is to "please fans of Israeli football," as he wished for last week. His team was abysmal going forward on Saturday evening and has now won only two home games all season. After an uneventful first 45 minutes, Netanya had a golden opportunity to take the lead at the start of the second half when Petah Tikva's Ismael Amer handled the ball on the line to keep out a George Ba header. Amer was sent off, but Ravid Gazal hit the post from the ensuing penalty. Hapoel Petah Tikva 3, Ironi Kiryat Shmona 0 Hapoel got off to dream start with two goals inside the first 16 minutes, as Junior Visa smashed in a Shimon Abuhatzera lay-off and Ahmed Kasoum headed in an Ori Uzan center. The home side wrapped the win in stoppage time with an Uzan penalty.