ANDY SCHREUR - Monday, December 17, 2012
Bryan Gerzicich came off the bench for Ironi Kiryat Shmona in a draw against Beitar Jerusalem while Ryan Adeleye made his first appearance for Hapoel Be'er Sheva in a loss to Bnei Sakhnin.
Beitar Jerusalem 2 - 2 Kiryat Shmona
Kiryat Shmona fought to a difficult draw on the road against Beitar Jerusalem on Sunday to remain in the top six of the Israeli Premier League.
Bryan Gerzicich has been recovering from a calf injury and started the game on the bench. He came on in the second half and played the final 23 minutes.
Dangerous Beitar midfielder Avi Rikan struck for the seventh time this year in just the second minute when he headed home a free kick that sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
However, Sintiyahu Salalik volleyed in a bouncing ball in the 17th minute to silence the crowd and draw the Blue Lions level.
Beitar missed a golden opportunity in the 38th minute when a bouncing free kick into the box deflected off the post and was headed wide.
Kiryat Shmona took the lead in the 53rd minute when a through ball found Ofir Mizrachi, who calmly dribbled around a diving Beitar keeper Ariel Harush and tapped it home.
Beitar would not be denied and an incredible solo effort by Chen Azriel ensured a share of the points. He fought off a defender, spun and fired a low shot from the edge of the 18 yard box, beating a diving Daniel Amos for the equalizer.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona extends their winless streak to four games with the tie and next faces off in the second leg of the Toto Cup against Hapoel Be'er Sheva on Tuesday and next Monday against Maccabi Haifa. Gerzicich will likely see minutes again in the Toto Cup match, normally for reserve players, as he works his way back to full health.
Hapoel Be'er Sheva - Bnei Sakhnin
Ryan Adeleye started in his first league appearance of the season in midfield for Hapoel Be'er Sheva as they lost at Bnei Sakhnin on Saturday.
Be'er Sheva took the lead in the 22nd minute with a Donev Gabay header, which was his first goal of the year. However, Sakhnin answered in the 28th minute when Shimon Harush dribbled home a failed clearance after a corner kick.
In the 68th minute, Ahmed Kasum deflected a cross past Sheva goalie Augustine Ejide after fighting a defender off his back. Adeleye picked up his first yellow card of the season in the 78th minute for a clumsy challenge in midfield.
In the 79th minute, Hamad Ghanayim put the match out of reach for Be'er Sheva on a bouncing volley into the bottom right corner of the net. Gabay was able to get his second goal of the match just seconds later when a Sakhnin blunder left him all alone two yards from the goal and no one within 10 yards. However, it wasn't enough and Sahknin were able to break their five match losing streak.
Adeleye saw his first action of the year earlier this week in the Toto Cup and must have impressed as he played the full 90 this weekend. Be'er Sheva currently sit in 7th position and next face off with Gerzicich's Kirat Schmona next weekend.
Leonard Krupnik did not make the 18 as Maccabi Netanya drew 0-0 with Maccabi Haifa and currently sit in the relegation zone.