DUSTIN BECK - Thursday, January 6, 2011
Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya along with Bryan Gerzicich and Ironi Kiryat Shmona both could have hoped for better starts to the new year as their teams lost their first games of 2011.
Maccabi Netanya 0-1 Beitar Jerusalem
Leo Krupnik and his teammates were strong in defense but it wasn't enough to hold off a white-hot Beitar Jerusalem team this past Saturday at Teddi Malcha stadium in the capitol city.
The first half was a scoreless affair that saw four yellow cards issued in what was expected to be a physical encounter.
The hosts finally broke through the defense in the 54th minute with a strike from Israeli Aviram Baruchyan to give Beitar Jerusalem the lead.
The one goal would prove to be enough as neither team was able to find the net the rest of the way.
Krupnik went the distance once again for Netanya. He continues to be solid and dependable on the back lines for his team which has currently been struggling to find the goal.
The two teams combined for five yellow cards on the day, two for Beitar Jerusalem given to Moshe Mishaelof and Idan Tal. Maccabi Netanya accumulated three yellow cards on the day with cards being shown to Adi Nimni, Achmad Saba'a and Bamidele Yampolsky.
Maccabi Netanya currently sits in tenth place in the league standings but will have a chance to move up this Saturday when they host Bnei Sakhnin.
Bnei Sakhninis currently in 15th place in the 16 team league, but are coming off of their biggest win of the season against Ironi Kiryat Shmona this past weekend.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 0 - 1 Bnei Sakhnin
It was quite a way for Los Angeles native Bryan Gerzicich and his team Irni Kiryat Shmona to ring in the new year with a shocking defeat this past Saturday at Doha Stadium in Sakhnin.
Kiryat Shmona lost three extremely valuable points in the loss to a Bnei Sakhnin club that has struggled to find the back of the net.
Sakhnin had won only two of their previous fifteen games and scored only nine goals which also was last in the league.
Bnei Sakhnin got the magic goal they needed in the 25th minute when defender Mahran Abu Ria put the ball past Kiryat Shmona goalkeeper Gay Hamoiv to give Bnei Sakhnin a very rare early lead.
After getting the lead, Bnei packed it in tightly defensively and did all they could to take any flow out of the game including accumulating five yellow cards along the way.
The points lost by Kiryat Shmona will definately hurt their chances to catch third place team Maccabi Tel Aviv and brings them back closer to a large pack of teams that are now within striking distance of them in the standings.
Gerzicich went the full way for Shmona in the middle of the park but couldn't do enough to find the goals they needed to get the win.
There were six total yellow cards and no reds in the match with Yaniv Luzon, Hamad Ghanym, Haled Halaula, Liran Cohen and Luav Kayal picking them up for Bnei Sakhnin. Kiryat Shmona had just the one yellow card issued to striker William Njobvu in the 65th minute.
Alex Zahavi did not play this weekend as he is currently training with the US U-20 team and Ryan Adeleye did not make the bench for his side Hapoel Be'er Sheva.