Hapoel Beersheba’s lead at the top of the Premier League standings is down to a mere three points, with the reigning champion being held to a 0-0 draw at Hapoel Haifa on Sunday.
Beersheba continues to struggle on the road, failing to win for a fifth straight league match away from Turner Stadium, a streak stretching back over two months.
With Maccabi Tel Aviv picking up 19 of a possible 21 points from its past seven league games following the sacking of coach Shota Arveladze, the yellow-andblue can already move tied on points with Beersheba when it hosts Bnei Yehuda on Saturday.
Beersheba’s next league match is against Hapoel Kfar Saba at Turner Stadium next Monday.
Beersheba dominated the possession on Sunday, but found a hard time creating chances against an organized Haifa side. Haifa, which squandered a golden opportunity to take all three points in stoppage time, remains in the hunt for a top-six finish at the end of the regular season and a berth in the championship playoffs, sitting four points behind Maccabi Haifa with three matches to play.
“We got off to a good start and we needed to take advantage of our early chances,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar, whose team visits Besiktas in Istanbul in the second leg of the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday, hoping to overturn a 3-1 defeat from Turner.
“Once we didn’t do that it got more difficult for us. I don’t think the team was nervous. There are still many more matches to play and I believe we will already play better in our next match.”
Earlier Sunday, Liroy Zhairy’s 93rd-minute winner gave Maccabi Petah Tikva a 1-0 win over Hapoel Ashkelon, strengthening its hold on third place.
Petah Tikva is five points back of Maccabi Tel Aviv in second place and seven points ahead of Bnei Sakhnin in fourth.
On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Beitar Jerusalem.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin