BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, January 2, 2012
The three Yanks in the Israeli Premier League all started this weekend with Bryan Gerzicich and Kiryat Shmona earning a valuable road draw against second place Ashdod to remain six points clear on top of the league.
Ashdod 0-0 Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
In a matchup between the top two teams in the Israeli Premier League, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona will be happy to walk away with a point away from home against a very solid Ashdod team.
Bryan Gerzicich started and went the distance for Kiryat Shmona.
Despite missing three of their top players in Barak Badash, William Njobvu, and Simon Abohtzira, Kiryat Shmona was able to control most of the play in the first half.
In the second half, Ashdod picked up the pace and Kiryat Shmona goalkeeper Danny Amos rose to the occasion making three remarkable saves in the 55th, the 63rd, and the 67th minute to presever the draw.
Next up for Kiryat Shmona is a matchup next weekend against 15th place Hapoel Ironi Rishon LeZion at home.
Maccabi Netanya 1-0 Bnei Yehuda
After going a month without a win, Maccabi Netanya have now won two in a row after defeating Bnei Yehuda on Saturday at Sar Tov Stadium.
American Leo Krupnik went a full 90 in central defense for Maccabi Netanya.
The game was scoreless into the 88th minute when a Netanya corner found Lior Reuven who headed it towards goal. Ahmad Saba'a was then also able to get a head on the ball and send it towards goal. The ball went off the crossbar then snuck across the endline for a goal and a 1-0 Netanya lead.
The win lifted Netanya into sixth place in the Israeli Premeir League. They return to action next weekend when they visit Beitar Jerusalem.
Hapoel Be'er Sheva 3-3 Ironi Ramat HaSharon
Hapoel Be'er Sheva have been playing well in recent weeks but will be bitter disappointed after blowing a three goal lead in the second half and settling for only a draw against Ironi Ramat HaSharon.
New Jersey native Ryan Adeleye started for Hapoel Be'er Sheva played a full 90.
It did not take long for Be'er Sheva to get on the board. In the 5th minute Dovev Gabay opened the scoring when he hammered home a cross from the left side delivered by Yossi Shivhon for a 1-0 lead.
In the 36th minute, Gabay netted his second in nearly identical fashion when a low cross was sent in from the left side by Ophir Davidadze and Gabay tapped it in from just a few yards out for a 2-0 lead.
In the 50th minute, Gabay completed his hat-trick when he headed home another cross from Shivhon from the left wing for a 3-0 lead.
From there, it was a collapse for Hapoel Be'er Sheva. In the 57th minute Ramat HaSharon forward Sbiti Lipenya pulled one back for the hosts when he headed in a cross from the right side delivered by Naor Paser to make the score 3-1.
In the 62nd minute, Ironi Ramat HaSharon reduced the deficit to 3-2 when Moshe Abutbul beat Be'er Sheva keeper Ohad Levita from 23 yards with a low driving shot to the left post.
Ironi Ramat HaSharon completed their comeback in the second minute of injury time when Barukh Dego collected a pass inside the box from the left wing and sent a shot from 12 yards past Levita on his first touch to even the score at 3-3.
Hapoel Be'er Sheva now sit in 12th place in the 16 team league. Next Saturday they host Hapoel Tel Aviv.