Maccabi Tel Aviv got back on the winning track with a 3-1 win over Ironi Kiryat Shmona over the weekend as interim head coach Barak Itzhaki scored his first win in the northern capital.
With Itzhaki, who has served as sporting director, on the sidelines, Maccabi started the game slowly going down 1-0 on a goal from Itamar Shviro in the 28th minute for the hosts.
However, Brandley Kuwas unleashed a stunner from just 12 meters to tie even three minutes into first-half injury time. The visitors then took the lead in the second half after Luis Hernandes hit the ball on a corner kick, and substitute Osama Khalaila added the third shot late in the game to take all three points.
“Coaching is new to me, but I will get used to it and serve in this capacity for as long as it takes,” Itzhaki began. “In football you always have to have emotions. We didn’t think we would start the league the way we did and we will have to work hard and be united. We will still have to improve the way we started the games, but we were able to figure out how to get out of the hole we started with today. “
In the south, Ashdod SC and Maccabi Haifa played an entertaining 2-2 draw in the port city to each earn a point.
The Greens got on the scoreboard first when their corner kick came off Ashdod’s Gil Cohen and behind their own goalkeeper, Yoav Gerafi, for an early 1-0 lead.
Kenny Saief found the equalizer through a header from a Montari Kamaheni ball to tie Ashdod at 1-1 in the 28th minute.
Barak Bachar’s team regained the lead in the 63rd minute when Tjaron Chery pounced on a rebound, but Or Inbrun’s penalty count six minutes later tied the game again as each team earned a deserved point.
“We led the game twice, but this is a tough place to play,” Bachar said. “We did everything we could to win the match, however Ashdod is a quality team despite not having many opportunities. Still, when you are twice ahead in Ashdod, you have to find a way to win the game. “
Ashdod’s coach Ran Ben Shimon put the result in perspective.
“We could have won and we could have lost,” he explained. “We did a lot of wonderful things in this game and Kenny Saief has become one of our main players. As each game goes by, I feel like we’re getting a better understanding of how we want to play and we keep getting better. “
Meanwhile, Maccabi Netanya and Hapoel Beersheba drew 1-1 as both goals were scored just one minute apart in the second half to split the points at Netanya Stadium.
After a goalless first half that saw the hosts lose Aviv Avraham with a direct red card due to a reckless tackle, Ramzi Safuri broke the deadlock in the 65th minute when he launched a free kick behind Dani Amos and on goal. from Netanya for a 1- 0 lead.
However, just a minute later, the hosts retired the goal when Aboubacar Doumbia cleared a rebound to add a point to his team playing with one man less.
“The twelfth man was definitely the fans today,” Netanya’s coach Benny Lam began. “I don’t like to celebrate a draw, but this was like a victory and the players deserve a lot of credit. Beersheba is a very strong team and when we went down to 10 men I brought in attacking players to see what we could do. Congratulations to the whole team “.
After a goalless first half, Shemesh, who had come on as a substitute, took a pass from Guy Badash and put it behind Petah Tikva goalkeeper Arik Yanko to claim the victory.
“I didn’t know we would win this match, but I did know that if we did, we would be officially welcomed into the Premier League,” said an excited Jerusalem coach, Ziv Arie. “We have played good games and we knew that with a young squad and a low budget we would have to be patient.”
In the north, Hapoel Haifa shut out Hapoel Hadera 3-0 when the Carmel Reds received scores from three different scorers to take all three points.
Alon Turgeman opened the scoring in the 18th minute, while Liran Sardel doubled the lead just 10 minutes later. Alen Ozbolt added a third goal for Elisha Levy’s team to take victory in front of their home fans at Sammy Ofer Stadium.
“I am very happy with the result and the effort that the players put in,” Levy said after the game. “We play as a team that is deservedly in the upper half of the table. We controlled the game from start to finish and it was great that the fans enjoyed the game. “
Additionally, Bnei Sakhnin upset Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-0 at Bloomfield Stadium to take the beleaguered coach Sharon Mimer to victory.
Beram Kayal opened the scoring with a penalty in the 32nd minute, while Moti Barshazki and Ibrahima Conte scored goals in injury time in the second half for the important early-season victory.
“We played with our emotions today and the guys showed that they can play with any team in the league,” Mimer said. “I am very proud and I want to make sure that the club appreciates these kinds of victories. As long as it’s quiet at Sakhnin, we can do some pretty good things. “