Maccabi Haifa held 0-0 by Bnei Sahknin

Greens bumble again with Benado on sideline; still trying to pry away Ben-Shimon.

MACCABI HAIFA’S Idan Vered 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
MACCABI HAIFA’S Idan Vered 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Ran Ben-Shimon couldn’t join Maccabi Haifa soon enough, with the Greens once more looking lost on Monday night, drawing 0-0 at home against Bnei Sakhnin.
Haifa sacked coach Reuven Atar last week after the team only picked up seven points from its first nine matches, recording just a single win.
Ben-Shimon is at the top of owner Jacob Shahar’s wish-list, but Haifa has yet to reach an agreement with his current club, AEK Larnaca of the Cypriot league, and youth team coach Arik Benado guided the Greens on Monday.
Several Haifa players said that they would make an extra effort for Benado, who retired just last year, but the team’s play was as apathetic as ever on Monday, with the hosts barely even creating scoring opportunities at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium.
Haifa visits in-form Betar Jerusalem next week and will be hoping to have a full-time replacement for Atar by then.
Ben-Shimon has already agreed personal terms with the club, but Larnaca is holding out for 600,000 euros for his release, a sum Haifa refuses to pay.
Shahar would like to seal the Ben- Shimon deal this week, but should he fail to do so, Israel under-21 coach Guy Luzon is expected to be his next target.
Luzon is currently preparing the under-21 side for next summer’s European Championships to be hosted in Israel.
However, with the team only having one more friendly match on its schedule ahead of the start of the tournament, the Israel Football Association could well approve for Luzon to hold both jobs simultaneously until next summer.
Yaniv Katan returned to the starting lineup on Monday after Atar dropped him from the squad last week and he registered Haifa’s first threat at Mahmud Kannadil’s goal, firing just wide from 20 meters out after 29 minutes.
Haifa’s best chance of the match arrived in the 36th minute, with Dino Ndlovu sending a weak effort from three meters out right at Kannadil with only the ’keeper to beat.
It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Haifa finally reached its first chance of the second half, with Orel Dgani blasting the ball high above target.
The hosts created scarce little after that and yet again were booed off the pitch by their frustrated fans.