Soccer: Ashdod win puts pressure on Tel Aviv clubs

Maccabi Petah Tikva 0, Ashdod SC 3; Maccabi Haifa 0, Betar Jerusalem 1; Maccabi Netanya 1, Bnei Sakhnin 1.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Ashdod SC piled the pressure on Maccabi and Hapoel ahead of Sunday's Tel Aviv derby, defeating Maccabi Petah Tikva 3-0 on Saturday. Hapoel is now just one point ahead of Ashdod and the relegation zone, with Maccabi a further point in front. Also Saturday, Betar Jerusalem moved 13-points clear at the top of the Premier League standings with a 1-0 win against Maccabi Haifa at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. Maccabi Netanya failed to win for a third straight week on Saturday, drawing 1-1 away at Bnei Sakhnin. At the start of the match a portion of the Sakhnin fans booed during the minute of silence which was held in memory of the eight yeshiva students murdered on Thursday. "Ninety percent of the fans behaved immaculately, but there's always a group which acts inappropriately," Sakhnin chairman Mazen Ganaim said. Ironi Kiryat Shmona moved closer to securing a place in next season's UEFA Cup, defeating rock-bottom Bnei Yehuda 2-0. In the most thrilling of Saturday's matches, Maccabi Herzliya came from 2-0 down to take a 3-2 lead at Hapoel Kfar Saba, but Samuel Yeboah's 90th minute goal made sure the teams shared the spoils. Maccabi Petah Tikva 0, Ashdod SC 3 A first minute own-goal by Petah Tikva defender Omer Hadar gave Ashdod an ideal start to the match and the visitors never looked back. In the 69th minute, Bulgarian Dimitar Makriev doubled Ashdod's lead and in stoppage time Idan Shriki capped the visitors' crucial win. Maccabi Haifa 0, Betar Jerusalem 1 Despite being far from its best, Betar collected three more points on Saturday thanks to a sensational 38th minute goal by Derek Boateng. The Ghanaian picked up the ball on the edge of the Haifa box and after taking a couple of steps forward blasted his shot beyond Haifa's helpless 'keeper Nir Davidovitch. Haifa, which was extremely poor throughout the 90 minutes, has now only won once in its last seven matches and Maccabi's supporters booed coach Roni Levy and cried for his resignation during large parts of the encounter. "I'm very disappointed with the loss and with the way we played," Levy said. "The unpleasant atmosphere makes is slightly more difficult for us to do well, but we need to know how to deal with this. No one likes to be cursed, but that's part of the game." Hapoel Kfar Saba 3, Maccabi Herzliya 3 Maccabi Herzliya missed a golden opportunity to put some distance between itself and the relegation zone on Saturday after Samuel Yeboah scored a 90th minute equalizer for 10-man Hapoel Kfar Saba. The hosts led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Ben Luz and Guillermo Israelevitch in the 19th and 41st minutes respectively, but Tomer Hemed's hat-trick completed a Herzliya comeback in the 78th minute and seemed to give the visitors all three points. Maccabi, however, dropped what could prove to be vital points in the 90th minute after Yeboah took advantage of a melee in the Kfar Saba box to score his 12th goal of the season. "We played an especially bad first half, but when you concede a 90th minute equalizer you're disappointed," Herzliya coach Freddy David said.