RECAP: WEEKEND ISRAELI ACTION
Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona came away with a win over Maccabi Tel Aviv to stay in first place while Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya played to a scoreless draw against Bnei Yehuda.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 0 - 1 Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona passed yet another difficult test on Saturday when they defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv on the road at Tel Aviv's Bloomfield stadium to remain in first place in the Israeli Premier League.
American Bryan Gerzicich played a full 90 for the league leaders in central midfield and picked up a yellow card in the 11th minute.
Maccabi Tel Aviv controlled play in the game's opening minutes as they created the first chance on goal in the early minutes when Brazilian defender Nivaldo hit a header off a free kick that glanced off the left post.
In the 22nd minute, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona suffered their biggest blow when their leading scorer, Wiyam Amashe had to be subbed off for Bachar Barak for after Amashe collided with Maccabi Tel Aviv's keeper, Liran Strauber.
In the 25th minute, Barak would capitalize after a terrible error by Strauber. After collecting an easy backpass from his defense, Strauber had the ball stripped by Barak who was able to hit it into the open net for the one goal lead.
Following the goal, Maccabi Tel Aviv would turn up the pressure in front of an uneasy home crowd. They would create almost all the chances until the end of the game but would fall shot in finding the equalizer.
With the loss, the 22-time Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv would fall to fifth place with 19 points through 11 games. Their next game is on the road against Maccabi Netanya at Sar-Tov stadium.
The win for Hapoel Kiryat Shmona kept them in first place with 24 points through 11 games. Next Saturday they return home to their small city in the northern most point in Israel to take on Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Maccabi Netanya 0 - 0 Bnei Yehuda
Maccabi Netanya entered Saturday's game at home against Bnei Yehuda on a two game losing skid in which their defense has played poorly allowing six goals over the two games.
On Saturday, their defense improved with American Leo Krupnik playing a full 90 for Maccabi Netanya in central defense, but it was their offense that struggled instead as they played to a scoreless draw at Sar-Tov Stadium.
The first chance of the game was the best one of the day for Bnei Yehuda when Maccabi Netanya's keeper, Carlos Arias, was forced to make a diving stop off a free kick in the first half.
In the second half, Maccabi Netanya would have their best chance of the game when Bamidele Yampolsky had his open shot saved from just six yards away.
The draw dropped Maccabi Netanya to a disappointing eight place in the Israeli Premier League with 16 points and Bnei Yehuda remained at 10th place with 14 points. Both teams have played 11 games.
Bnei Yehuda next week returns home to face Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Maccabi Netanya next Monday will stay at home to play Maccabi Tel Aviv.
American defender Ryan Adeleye came into the game as a 67th minute substitute for Hapoel Be'er Sheva in their 1-0 victory over Hapoel Ashkelon.