RECAP: WEEKEND ISRAELI ACTION
In a strong weekend for Americans in the Israeli Premier League, Bryan Gerzicich went the distance for Hapoel Kiryat Shmona in a convincing win and Leo Krupnik played 90 minutes for Maccabi Netanya in a shutout victory against FC Ashdod
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 3 - 1 Hapoel Petah Tikva
Bryan Gerzicich played a full 90 for Hapoel Kiryat Shmona on Saturday as they defeated Hapoel Petah Tikva 3-1 at Kiryat-Shmona Municipal Stadium and continued their strong start to the season.
While Hapoel Kiryat Shmona entered into the game as favorites, it was the visitors that scored first in the 24th minute when Israeli U21 international David Biton scored his fourth goal in just the third game of the season.
Biton took advantage when he capitalized on a positional error from Kiryat Shmona goalkeeper Danny Amos where he was able to head home into an unprotected net from 11 yards.
In the 43rd minute Hapoel Kiryat Shmona were able to equalize when Salah Hasarma hit a left footed volley off corner from Elroy Cohen.
In the second half, Kiryat Shmona would take control of the game. In the 58th minute, Cohen would give the hosts their first lead of the game when he would cleverly maneuver around two defenders just inside the box and unleash a powerful shot past Hapoel Petah Tikva goalkeeper Snir Dori.
Cohen would complete his man-of-the-match performance just three minutes later in the 61st minute when he would score his second goal of his game to give Kiryat Shmona a 3- 1 lead.
With Hapoel Petah Tikva pushing forward, Kiryat Shmona burst out on the counter attack and Adrian Rochet made a trickey pass to Cohen on top of the box who was able to convert from 19 yards and put the game out of reach.
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona will play next Sunday when they take on Hapoel Haifa in the Toto Cup. They return to league play on Friday, September 24 when they visit Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Maccabi Netanya 2 - 0 FC Ashdod
Central defender Leo Krupnik went the distance for Maccabi Netanya on Saturday as they defeated visitors FC Ashdod with a pair of late goals.
Maccabi Netanya began the game with a series of good chances. In the 14th minute, the hosts received their first big break of the game when forward Hen Ezra received a great ball outside the box. Ashdod's Bosnian goalkeeper Dragan Stojkić came out to make a play but instead handled the ball outside the box and was shown a direct red card.
Despite being down a man, FC Ashdod attacked for the remainder of the first half with Bulgarian forward Dimitar Makriev forcing Maccabi Netanya's Bolivian goalkeeper Carlos Erwin Arias into making a classy save midway through the first half.
Maccabi Netanya would regroup at halftime and use their man advantage to control the game from the start of the second half.
FC Ashdod received and inspired performance from backup goalkeeper Yossi Shekel who came in after Stojkić's red card but Maccabi Netanya were able to break the scoreless deadlock late in the game.
In the 83rd minute, 20 year-old midfielder Omer Perez was able to give Maccabi Netanya the lead when he received a pass from Achmad Saba'a and easily scored from close range.
Maccabi Netanya was able to put the game out of reach in the 90th minute when they were able to take advantage of Ashdod's moving players forward in search of an equalizer. 21 year old captain Orel Dgani moved forward through the outstretched defense and sent a shot past Shekel.
Also playing a part in the shutout victory for Maccabi Netanya was central defender Mariano Caporale who the club acquired from Defensa y Justicia of the Argentine second division.
Caporale and Krupnik proved to be an effective pairing on the backline and one the club is likely to use moving forward in the season.
Maccabi Netanya will play next Sunday in the Toto Cup when they host Maccabi Tel Aviv. Their next match in the Israeli Premier League is on Friday, September 24th when they visit Hapoel Petah Tikva.
American defender Ryan Adeleye and Hapoel Be'er Sheva FC host Alexander Zahavi and Maccabi Haifa on Monday