Local soccer: Shnaider watches Maccabi TA draw

Dego leads Hapoel Tel Aviv to 3-2 win at Herzliya; Maccabi Haifa takes no prisoner in victory over Kfar Saba.

Maccabi TA soccer 248.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi TA soccer 248.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
New Maccabi Tel Aviv owner Alex Shnaider was delighted to see his team battle back from 2-1 down to draw level with Ironi Kiryat Shmona in injury time and pick up another important point at Bloomfield on Saturday. Shnaider had flown in to Israel over the weekend to take a look at the club he purchased last month and was introduced to the fans before the match. Cross-town rival Hapoel Tel Aviv could be returning to winning ways. After an appalling run, Hapoel pulled out a stunning 3-2 win over feisty Maccabi Herzliya away from home with veteran Baruch Dego scoring two goals and winning a deserved man of the match award. Meanwhile, Maccabi Haifa moved into second place, four points off league leader Betar Jerusalem with a commanding 3-0 win at Eli Ohana's Hapoel Kfar Saba; Bnei Sakhnin fell behind after being held 0-0 at Doha by Bnei Yehuda; Maccabi Netanya was also unable to score in its 0-0 draw with Maccabi Petah Tikva. Maccabi Tel Aviv 2, Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2 Maccabi gave up two opportunities early on with Moshe Mishaelov guilty of failing to react when a Dudi Biton header from a corner landed at his feet 12 minutes in. Tel Aviv finally capitalized on its pressure six minutes before half time when Yanick Kamanan scored with a crafty back heel from a Rudy Hadad cross. However, all was not well for Maccabi as the half came to a close when Yuval Avidor pulled one back for the visitors a minute before half time. As the second half wore on, Kiryat Shmona piled on the pressure, which paid off. Avidor took advantage of a mistake by Yuval Shpungin and put the visitors ahead with eight minutes to go. But Tel Aviv was not going to give up, especially with Shnaider in the crowd and Lior Jan scored a bizarre injury time goal when the ball rebounded off him into the net to make it 2-2. Maccabi Herzliya 2, Hapoel Tel Aviv 3 Kfar Saba's Omer Boksenboim had the first chance of the match, but his ninth minute header from a corner flew past Galil Ben-Shanan in the Hapoel goal. Ben-Shanan has come in in place of Vincent Enyeama who flew to Ghana to play in the African Nations Cup for Nigeria. Hapoel broke the deadlock against the run of player when Dego headed in from a Dmitar Teliski corner in the 34th minute. The equalizer did not come until 22 minutes into the second half when Asi Mashiach powered in a shot from far outside the penalty area which bobbled in front of the Hapoel Tel Aviv 'keeper and ended up in the net. The score didn't remain 1-1 for long. Four minutes later Telkiski took advantage of a Herzliya defensive mix-up to make it 2-1 to the visitors. With the home side heading for defeat, another failure in the back line brought the score level. Ben-Shanan appeared to have the ball safe just outside his six yard box but he somehow lost it and Shlav Menashe grabbed the opportunity to make it 2-2. The winner came after Dayo Davis was adjudged to have fouled Dego in the penalty area and the midfielder made no mistake from the spot. Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Eli Gutman was clearly happy with the result. "Herzliya is a skilled and organized team. I was happy to take the points and was satisfied with the way we played," he said after the game. "When I saw Baruch Dego step up to take the penalty I knew he would score." Maccabi Haifa 2, Hapoel Kfar Saba 0 A catalogue of errors by the Kfar Saba defense, which resulted in two own goals, saw Haifa win its second game in a row and stay undefeated in the league for nine games. The visiting Greens, who were wearing all-black for this away game, should have gone ahead early on, but former Betar Jerusalem midfielder Omri Afek made a pig's ear of his opportunity in the fourth minute. Haifa was not concerned by the miss and continued to put the pressure on the hosts. Lior Rafaelov put Haifa 1-0 ahead with a classy chip in just the sixth minute. The second goal came from a Renato cross which fellow Brazilian Lior directed into his own goal in the 21st minute. But the most spectacular own goal was yet to come. Gustovo Boccoli fired a cross in which Gil Kein attempted to clear from the edge of the area but sliced over his head and past Kfar Saba 'keeper Ohad Levita. Bnei Sakhnin 0, Bnei Yehuda 0 Eli Cohen's Bnei Yehuda picked up two crucial points in a battling performance against an up and coming Sakhnin side. The side from southern Tel Aviv stayed rooted at the bottom of the table but will be satisfied with its performance in the north. Maccabi Petah Tikva 0, Maccabi Netanya 0 With second spot in touching distance, Netanya should have done much better. After a weak first half the visiting Netanya side pushed forward in the second period, but just couldn't convert the pressure into goals. "It was a weak game in the first half which was centered in the middle of the field," Netanya coach Reuven Atar said. "But in the second half we got into some good chances and ran the game but we just weren't able to convert."