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Beitar notches big win

In the most explosive result of Israel Premier League Round 7 action, Beitar Jerusalem blasted newly promoted Ness Tziona 4-0 on goals by four different scorers.

The yellow-and-black began the attack early as Antoine Conte scored his first ever Premier League goal when he slammed home a gorgeous cross by Gadi Kinda from 25 meters to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. Levi Garcia doubled the capital city side’s advantage in the 38th minute when he took a magnificent Ali Muhammed through ball and sliced it past a helpless Omri Glazer.

Kinda found the back of the goal as well when he slotted the ball behind the Ness Tziona ’keeper from a tough angle while central defender Or Zahavi added the final tally six minutes later when he took advantage of a Glazer mistake in the box to give Roni Levi’s squad a tidy triumph.

“It’s always great to win and give the fans something to cheer for and I hope that this will be a regular occurrence,” said Levy. “It’s not always easy to build a new team from scratch with many youngsters at the start of the season and although we wanted to get off to a good beginning we know that it has taken us time.”

Meanwhile, Hapoel Tel Aviv needed two late goals to top Hapoel Kfar Saba 2-1 at the new Bloomfield Stadium. Aviv Solomon gave visiting Kfar Saba the lead in the 30th minute, but veteran Reds attacker Omer Damari came to the rescue with only minutes remaining in the contest. After a tremendous amount of pressure by Niso Avitan’s squad, Damari and substitute Shahar Hirsch teamed up on the tying goal as the latter beat Itamar Israeli to draw even at 1-1 in the 86th minute. The duo wasn’t done there as Hirsch played facilitator allowing Damari to score the winning goal deep into injury time as he put home a 93rd-minute marker to help Tel Aviv to the three points.

“I waited a very long time for this and I am thrilled that I was able to prove myself,” said an exuberant Damari, who hasn’t been on the active squad for the majority of the early season.

“We have to continue this way after a tough start to the season. I’m still not in top shape but I hope that I can keep up this positive momentum. I showed that I deserve to be on the pitch, but I also need to prove that each and every week.”

Also, Hapoel Beersheba defeated Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2-1 to remain atop the table. Ben Sahar headed home a brilliant cross by Josue Pesqueira right before the break in the 44th minute, but Cillian Sheridan drew the northern side even in the 67th minute when he rose above the defense to nod in the tying goal. But Nigel Hasselbaink tapped in the winner thanks to a sharp cross by Nir Zrihen as the southern squad took the win.

This week, Barak Bachar’s team will travel to Tel Aviv to take on reigning-champion Maccabi, which slipped past Ashdod SC 1-0 on Monday night.

“It’s an important game, but it’s just another league matchup,” said Bachar of Beersheba’s upcoming duel with the yellow-and-blue. “Many games will determine where will finish. Of course we want to win, but we won’t make a bigger deal out of it as there is a long way to go.”

In Maccabi’s clash with Ashdod at the Yud Alef Stadium, Chico Ofoedu tapped home an Andre Geraldes cross into the box after a scoreless first half. Daniel Tenenbaum once again recorded a clean sheet as Maccabi has yet to concede a goal in seven games.

“This wasn’t an easy win and it’s a very difficult stadium to play in,” said Maccabi coach Vladimir Ivic. “It’s difficult to beat Ashdod, but we were great better team on the field and I’m happy we took the three points.”

Tenenbaum tried to downplay next week’s match against Beersheba.

“It’s just another game worth three points, but it’s still an important contest. We will listen to the coach and come in ready for the game.”

Elsewhere, Maccabi Haifa and Bnei Yehuda played to an entertaining 1-1 draw at Sammy Ofer Stadium. Tjaronn Chery scored his first marker for the Greens to give the hosts the lead by finding the right corner of Emilias Zoubas’s goal. But Matija Ljulic also found his first goal for Bnei Yehuda in the 83rd minute to split the points.

Hapoel Hadera stunned Maccabi Netanya 1-0 on an early second-half Didier Kougbenya goal. Netanya had the opportunity to take a late first half lead via penalty, but Stav Finish’s spot kick was saved by Austin Ejide as Hadera recorded the victory.

Hapoel Ra’anana hosted Hapoel Haifa to a disappointing goalless draw at the Moshava Stadium.

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