Malmilian’s ship still sinking in Jerusalem

Betar falls 2-0 to Hap PT in empty Teddy, now 3rd-bottom; Mac TA wins easily.

Malmilian 311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Malmilian 311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Uri Malmilian’s days as Betar Jerusalem’s coach look to be numbered after his team fell to its sixth defeat in nine matches on Saturday, losing 2-0 to Hapoel Petah Tikva at Teddy Stadium.
Betar was desperately poor once again on Saturday and Malmilian accused several of his players of betraying the club after seeing his team lose for the third time in four matches to a side which entered the encounter still winless eight games into the season.
“It’s painful to lose, but what really hurts me is the fact that some players didn’t give their all,” a downcast Malmilian said. “Some players didn’t put in any work. Players who are signed to a contract need to give more and that really annoys me. As soon as you don’t give your all you are betraying your team. Everyone knows the coach is always the one to blame, but players can’t behave like this. Players need to respect the shirt they wear.
“I always take responsibility and what needs to happen will happen.”
Betar was dismal from the start of Saturday’s match – which was played in front of empty stands due to Betar fans’ unruliness three weeks ago – but the turning point came in the 40th minute when Petah Tikva’s Dudu Biton was brought down in the box by Cristian Gonzalez, who was also subsequently sent off for being the last man on defense.
Biton converted the penalty kick and piled the misery on sorry Betar in the 78th minute, shaking two defenders before slotting in his eighth goal of the season.
If matters weren’t bad enough, Malmilian will take Betar to Bloomfield Stadium to face Hapoel Tel Aviv in next week’s match, assuming of course he is still the coach by that point.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv climbed to the top of the Premier League standings on Saturday night, defeating Hapoel Ashkelon 2-0 at Bloomfield.
After winning just once in its previous three games, Maccabi dominated Ashkelon throughout Saturday’s match, only to be denied time and again by Ashkelon’s Ghanaian ’keeper Stephen Ahorlu.
However, there was nothing Ahorlu could do in the 61st minute when Dimitar Rangelov was first to the rebound from Eliran Atar’s shot and Maccabi completed the victory in stoppage time when Djibril Sidibe’s deflected shot sailed into the back of the net.
Maccabi manager Avi Nimni was delighted with the victory, but his side’s stay at the top could be short lived, with Maccabi Haifa needing just one point from Monday’s match against Hapoel Tel Aviv at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium to return to first position.
Ironi Kirayt Shmona missed a golden opportunity to move into first place on Saturday, squandering a 2-0 lead at home to draw 2-2 against Bnei Yehuda.
Elroei Cohen gave the hosts the lead in the 19th minute and Adi Elisha put Kiryat Shmona in a very strong position by doubling the margin a minute into the second half.
However, Pini Balili (73) and Moshe Biton (82) tied the score and secured Dror Kashtan’s men a point from their travels up north.
After almost two months without a victory, Hapoel Haifa returned to winning ways on Saturday, claiming a surprise 3-2 victory at Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Eden Ben-Basat (16, 50) twice gave Haifa the lead, only for Omer Golan (20) and Nebojsa Marinkovic (64) to equalize.
However, Hanan Maman (75) would score the winner for Haifa, which was winless in its last five matches after starting the season with three straight wins.
Also Saturday, Ashdod SC beat Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 thanks to goals from Moshe Ohayon (32) and Idan Shriki (90), while Hapoel Beersheba defeated Hapoel Ramat Gan 2-0 through a Chai Ben-Lulu own goal (2) and a Lior Asulin strike (23).
Maccabi Netanya hosts Hapoel Acre on Sunday.