Mac TA collapses late, stays six back of Reds

Nicolas Falczuk’s goal two minutes into stoppage time dented Maccabi Tel Aviv’s title hopes at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday night.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Tel Aviv 311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Nicolas Falczuk’s goal two minutes into stoppage time dented Maccabi Tel Aviv’s title hopes at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday night.
With Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv not playing until Sunday and Monday, respectively, the yellow-and-blue had a chance to close within four points of the summit with a home victory over Hapoel Acre.
However, despite taking a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Savo Pavicevic (34) and Eliran Atar (49), Maccabi couldn’t claim all three points, with Roei Dayan bringin Acre back with a sensational solo effort from 20 meters out (67) before Falczuk tied the score at 2-2 in the 93rd minute to break Maccabi’s hearts.
“We should have scored five or six goals tonight, but we didn’t do it and we were punished,” Tel Aviv coach Moti Ivanir said. “Acre got back into the game with an incidental goal and had nothing to lose after that. Unfortunately for us, things worked out for them and we conceded a cruel goal.
“We can’t afford to drop points after leading 2-0.”
The two main championship contenders will be hoping to punish the yellow-and-blue for Saturday’s result, with Maccabi Haifa hosting Hapoel Ramat Gan on Sunday and Hapoel Tel Aviv visiting Betar Jerusalem at Teddy Stadium on Monday.
Meanwhile, Bnei Yehuda continued its rich vein of form on Saturday, winning for the fourth straight match to climb into the top six.
Dror Kashtan’s men came back from a goal down to beat Ashdod SC 2-1 on the road, with Stephane Kingue giving the hosts the lead in the sixth minute, only for Oz Rali (13) and Pini Balili (35) to turn the match on its head.
Bnei Yehuda joined Maccabi Petah Tikva on 38 points and both teams are now just three points back of fourth-placed Ironi Kiryat Shmona, which snatched a 1-1 draw at Maccabi Netanya on Saturday night.
Sergy Tretyak scored the opener in the 20th minute, but Shimon Abu Hazeira stole a point for 10-man Kiryat Shmona, equalizing in the 88th minute.
Petah Tikva thrashed the sorry Hapoel Ashkelon 4-0 on Saturday through goals from Omer Golan (24), Ori Uzan (56), Tal Ben-Haim (74) and Murad Abu Anza (85).
Ashkelon has lost six straight matches by a combined goal difference of 2-15 and dropped into the relegation zone on Saturday after Bnei Sakhnin’s dramatic 1-1 draw with Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Israel Zaguri gave Petah Tikva the lead in the 16th minute, but Guy Tzarfati was sent off in the 87th minute and Kostadin Hazurov scored five minutes into stoppage time to secure the hosts at least one point.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa beat Hapoel Beersheba 2-0 on the road thanks to goals from Eden Ben-Basat (29) and Amir Abu Nil (87).