Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Israel March 2010

Maccabi Herzliya 1 Ironi Ramat HaSharon 0

In the Liga Leumit (2nd level) this match set the tone for the extended weekend - few goals and a lack of quality near goal.

The home side played better in the second half after Ramat HaSharon had passed well in the first without threatening too much.

The winner came from some good dribbling a chip over the goalie.
I'd taken the train to Herzliya for a very reasonable 8 shekels but paid more than ten times that for the taxi back to Tel Aviv (it being Friday afternoon)

Maccabi Petah Tikva 0 Hapoel Petah Tikva 0

The Petah Tikva derby in the Municipal stadium watched by 6,000 fans.

The ground comprises two sides with the 'away' fans opposite in the open stand and the 'home' supporters in the covered main stand. Both had plenty of flags.

Not too far away the new stadium is going up, though from a distance viewed through the undergrowth, it seemed to be progressing slowly.

Maccabi edged the fast paced first half but both teams struggled to find a killer pass.

That continued into the second half.

Hapoel had a man sent off for two yellow cards, the second for 'simulation', but they held out OK for the draw.

I took the 51 sherut back, via Ramat Gan, to central Tel Aviv.

Hapoel Beersheva 1 Bnei Sakhnin 0

The away side started better and passed well but as usual lacked a good final ball.

Typically the first half was goalless.

But entering the second period Beersheva came out with more purpose, created some half chances and eventually got a penalty. This was scored and they should have got at least one more as Sakhnin pressed for an equaliser and left themselves open to counter attacks.

A decent crowd of 5,000 attended including the 'camels' and 'south boys' fans.

Beersheva is in the Negev desert and though it might be somewhat unfair to call it a one camel town it doesn't attract too many tourists.

Maccabi Haifa 1 Maccabi Tel Aviv 0

Haifa had a lot more activity especially around the packed Kiryat Eliezer stadium.

This win, from another penalty, consolidated Maccabi's grip on the leadership of the Israeli Premier League. They are virtually certain to retain their title.

Though not at their best the home side were helped when Mayuka was sent off in the first half.

Maccabi Tel Aviv played pretty well with ten men, holding out until the 83rd minute when top scorer Arbeitman slotted the (retaken) spot kick.

I strolled back to the German Colony for a couple of Araks and enjoyed the scenery around the impressive Baha'i gardens.

So not exactly a goalfest in Israel but a welcome respite from the English winter.

I took the Easyjet route back joined by a record number of babies (15) plus sundry infants.

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