Local Soccer: Zandberg steps up for Betar J'lem

Yellows beat Mac Petah Tikva 1-0; Ashdod SC 0, Mac TA 1; Mac Netanya 2, Hap Petah Tikva 1; Hap Kfar Saba 0, Hacoah R. Gan 0; Bnei Yehuda 1, Mac Herzliya 4.

beitar jerusalem 88 (photo credit: )
beitar jerusalem 88
(photo credit: )
Betar Jerusalem defeated Maccabi Petah Tikva 1-0 in a Premier League match on Saturday to guarantee that it will be in first place for another week. Betar's Michael Zandberg produced his 10th assist of the season to break the deadlock, helping Betar to another important away win. "We should have won this by a bigger margin," Mizrahi commented. "We created many chances up front, but failed to take advantage. "If we keep playing like this until the end of the season, the championship can be won. There is pressure with each match, but we are professionals and we have to deal with it." Earlier Saturday, Maccabi Tel Aviv earned a 1-0 victory over Ashdod SC to put pressure on the league leader. Betar Jerusalem opened its match with a series of assaults on the Petah Tikva goal. Zandberg was active on the wings and repeatedly beat his marks to create chances for Toto Tamuz and Kleber Schwenk, who failed to apply the necessary finish in front of goal. The "Luzons" frustrated Betar with their trademark physical play and disrupted the flow of play in the midfield. Veteran David Amsalem was involved in an unsporting incident with Rubil Sarsur in the 36th minute, and referee Meir Levy showed both players the yellow card. Betar scored its goal in the 65th minute following a quick raid on the Petah Tikva goal. Zandberg worked his magic yet again in midfield, spinning past the Petah Tikva rearguard and squaring the ball towards Schwenk, who tapped the ball into the back of the net. Ashdod SC 0,Maccabi Tel Aviv 1 Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Eli Cohen had to manage without captain Avi Nimni, who failed to pass his fitness test prior to the match. The yellow-and-blue failed to impress without its most dominant player, with Ashdod playing a sound defensive game to force a goalless first half. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv came away with all three points after midfielder Giovanni Rosso made a brilliant solo dribble on the left flank, took the ball to the touchline and dispatched a sharp cross into the box. Milan Mrdakovic headed home the winner with ease, scoring his seventh goal of the season in the 70th minute. "We try to play better in every game," Eli Cohen said after the win. "This is a process and we are putting in a lot of work every week. I'm very happy with today's effort and we deserved the win today. But I still don't think we are favorites to win the championship." Maccabi Netanya 2, Hapoel Petah Tikva 1 Dedi Ben-Dayan (58', 87') scored both of Maccabi Netanya's goals as Netanya climbed up one spot to fourth in the standings. Yaniv Luzon gave visiting Hapoel Petah Tikva a short-lived lead in the 55th minute.