Haifa bounce back
DEFENDING champions Maccabi Haifa opened a threepoint lead at the top of the Israeli Premier Division after beating Maccabi Petach-Tikva 2-0.
Second half strikes from Shlomi Arbeitman and Georgian striker Dvalisvili helped the Greens bounce back from their Champions League defeat against Bordeaux.
Hapoel Haifa leapfrogged Bnei Yehuda to go second with Ran Abukarat, Yero Bello and Ahmed Galion steering them to a 3-0 win at Bnei Sakhnin. Eliran Atar and Osman Bashiru exchanged goals as Bnei Yehuda drew at Hapoel Petach-Tikva. First-half strikes from Lior Asulin, Maor Melikson and David Revivo helped Hapoel Beer-Sheva inflict a first defeat of the season on former champions Betar Jerusalem. Barak Itzhaki and Toto Tamuz replied but despite a late onslaught, Hapoel held on.
A late effort from Geva Barkai earned Hapoel Akko a draw at Maccabi Tel Aviv for whom Zion Zemah netted.
Early strikes from Tomer Hemad and Luhav Kiyal earned Maccabi Ahi Nazareth a 2-1 win over Hapoel Ra’anana. Dudu Biton replied. Two goals from Itay Shechter plus one from Samuel Yeboah eased Hapoel Tel Aviv to a 3-0 win at Maccabi Netanya.