RECAP: WEEKEND ISRAELI ACTION
Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona reclaimed first place in the Israeli Premier League on Saturday when they defeated Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya.
Haopel Kiryat Shmona 3 – 0 Maccabi Netanya
Haopel Kiryat Shmona reversed a slide on Saturday when they hammered Maccabi Netanya 3-0 at Kiryat Shmona Municipal Stadium to retake first place of the Israeli Premier League after the tenth round of play.
Entering the game, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona were on a bit of winless streak with four draws and a loss in their last five games. Still they trailed first place Maccabi Tel Aviv by just one point.
Bryan Gerzicich once again started and went the full 90 for Hapoel Kiryat Shmona. The Los Angeles born central midfielder has played every minute of the season for his club.
In a similar position, Leo Krupnik started and played a full 90 for Maccabi Netanya. The Soviet Union born but naturalized American central defender is also yet to miss a minute for Netanya.
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona struck first early in the game in the third minute when midfielder Adrian Rochet came down the right side and sent in a cross that founds its way to forward Elroy Cohen.
The 21 year old Israeli international was able to hammer it home off a high bounce with his right foot to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Following the goal, Maccabi Netanya began to push forward for the equalizer but poor finishing from forwards Dela Yampolsky and Achmad Saba'a in the second half would haunt them.
The first painful miss was from Saba'a in the 55th minute in what should have been a tap in goal but instead he popped his shot over the bar from six yards out with Kiryat Shmona keeper Danny Amos being out of position.
Just minutes later, Dela Yampolsky hit a low driving shot off the right post from close range as Maccabi Netanya failed to capitalize on a good opportunity.
In the 71st minute, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona would extend their lead when Elroy Cohen collected the ball just outside the box, took a few dribbles, then sent a hard shot into the lower right corner past Maccabi Netanya keeper Carlos Arias for his second goal of the game giving Kiryat Shmona a 2-0 lead.
Following Cohen's second goal, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona took charge charge. They should have had their third goal in the 75th minute when Wiyam Amashe moved in all along against Arias. Arias came in late and appeared to foul Amashe in the box but the referee did not award Kiryat Shmona a penalty.
In the 77th minute, however, Amashe would get on the score sheet when he tapped home a perfect low cross from Cohen to give Kiryat Shmona a 3-0 lead which is how the game would end.
The loss dropped Maccabi Netanya to seventh place with 15 points through 10 games. Next weekend they return home to host 11th place Bnei Yehuda.
Saturday's victory lifted Hapoel Kiryat Shmona back into first place of the Israeli Premier League. They are even on 21 points with Maccabi Haifa but Kiryat Shmona have the best goal differential in the league. Next week they travel to take on third place Maccabi Tel Aviv.
New Jersey born defender Ryan Adeleye did not see any action for Hapoel Be'er Sheva in their 1-1 draw with Hapoel Haifa.
US U-20 international Alexander Zahavi did not take part in Maccabi Haifa's 3-1 defeat over last place Hapoel Ramat Gan.