Soccer / Premier League / Maccabi Haifa fails to break Acre walls
Reuven Atar's team slump to their worst ever Premier League opening while Ashdod grab their fifth win.
Maccabi Haifa fans are still waiting to celebrate a first league victory with their onetime hero, Reuven Atar as coach. After demanding his appointment for years, Atar has begun his tenure with three losses and a draw, scoring only three times in four games. That statistic didn't change last night when Haifa, though lively at times, failed to score against lowly Acre, the game ending in a disappointing 0-0 draw. Although still patient with Atar, Haifa fans continue to stare with disbelief at the league table, seeing their team placed 12th.
Haifa could probably learn something from watching Hapoel Tel Aviv. With Yossi Abukasis in charge, and coach Nitzan Shirazi at hand, Hapoel were by far inferior, at home, to last-placed Bnei Sakhnin, and were left with 10 men after Alroi Cohen was dismissed in the 52d minute. Nonetheless, Hapoel managed to hold on to a 1-0 lead, in a game that proved again one of Israeli soccer's old cliches about justice and football being two separate spheres.
League leaders Ashdod continued their dream start of the season with a 3-0 win over hapless Maccabi Netanya. Murad Abu Anza scored twice within 11 minutes in the second half, with Dimitar Makriev scoring in between. Ashdod maintain their perfect start to the season.
Champion Ironi Kiryat Shmona continued their slow start to the season. Goalkeeper Danny Amos was late to the team bus, and was left out of the squad in the 1-1 draw against Hapoel Haifa. Kiryat Shmona went ahead in the first half thanks to a Bryan Gerzicich goal, but Maharan Lala equalized in the dying minutes.
Beitar Jerusalem led twice against Hapoel Ramat Gan, but were twice frustrated by Freddy David's team. The gamed ended with a 2-2 draw, which complimented Beitar. Bnei Yehuda and Ramat Hasharon also drew 2-2. Maccabi Tel Aviv head to Be'er Sheva on Monday hoping to continue their pursuit of Ashdod, a week before the meeting between the two league leaders.