DUSTIN BECK - Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya all but lost their chances of a Europa League birth after losing to Bnei Yehuda over the weekend, while Bryan Gerzicich and Kiryat Shmona continued its downward spiral of late with a 2-0 loss at league leading Maccabi Haifa.
Maccabi Netanya 0-4 Bnei Yehuda
It was a huge matchup between the two teams tied for fourth place teams in the Israeli League table. The match was not necessarily a must win, but it was a can't lose in the race for a Europa League birth. Leo Krupnik went the full 90 for Netanya.
The scoring started in the 13th minute against the host side Netanya with Aviv Hadad getting his head on a cross and helping Bnei' jump out to an early lead on the road.
It didn't take long for matters to get worse for Krupnik and his defensive teammates as in the 20th minute as Shalev Menashe received a pass at the edge of the box and his left footed shot found the back of the net to quickly double the visitors lead and leave Netanya reeling.
The halftime break didn't seem to phase Bnei' Yehuda and they picked up right where they left off. In the 51st minute Serbian attacker Nenad Marinkovic found the back of the net and all but secure the result with the lead at 3-0.
The last dagger was put into Netanya in stoppage time with the Argentinian Pedro Galvan score in the 91st minute to finally finish off the host team and all but ending their Europa dreams.
Netanya will need a bit of a miracle next week as they travel to Maccabi Tel Aviv trailing Bnei' Yehuda by 3 points and 5 goals on differential heading into the last match of the season.
Kiryat Shmona 0-2 Maccabi Haifa
27 year old midfielder Bryan Gerzicich went the distance for Kiryat Shmona as they fell 2-0 to the league leaders in what turned out to be a tough weekend for yanks abroad playing in the Israeli league.
Kiryat Shmona continued what has been a bad run of late when they traveled to visit Haifa yesterday as the hosts clinched the league championship with the win.
After a promising early start by Shmona the momentum slowly changed and Haifa began to take control led by midfielder Lior Refaelov.
Gerzicich and the Kirayt Shmona defense continued to turn away opportunities by the hosts with solid work from their goalkeeper Adi Elisha.
Haifa finally broke into the scoring column in the 64th minute after they were awarded a controversial penalty. Refaelov stepped to the spot and put his chance away to give Haifa the goal they were looking for and a 1-0 lead.
Nine minutes later the game was put out of reach as Refaelov found the back of the net for a second time and put the match out of reach for Kiryat Shmona.
Kiryat Shmona will wrap up the league season next saturday as they host Hapoel Tel Aviv.