ANDY SCHREUR - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Bryan Gerzicich played the full 90 for Ironi Kiryat Shmona, who, down a man, held off a furious assault from Hapoel Be'er Sheva for a draw at home.
IKS was hoping for a lift after replacing former coach Gili Landau with assistant Barak Bahkar one day before last week's Europa League match at Sparta Prague (a 3-1 loss). However, they were unable to end their nine-game winless streak, prolonging their early season struggles.
Hapoel Be'er Sheva opened the scoring when Tomer Suissa redirected a free kick after only 10 minutes against his former team. Things went from bad to worse for IKS when Elad Gabay was shown his second yellow card in just the 20th minute.
Smelling blood in the water, Be'er Sheva pressed for a second goal, hitting the frame in the 33rd minute, only to see the rebound cleared. Despite having their nerves rattled, IKS was able to keep things from getting worse, and were only down 1-0 going into halftime.
Then, in the 48th minute, IKS got a much-needed break when Shimon Abuhatzira was brought down in the box by Bojan Markovic and blasted the resulting penalty kick past the Be'ever Sheva goalkeeper, drawing things even.
Desperate to capitalize on their one-man advantage, Be'er Sheva kept pressuring and once again hit the cross bar in the 55th minute. Then, in the 83rd minute, they thought they had the winner when Suissa fired a shot from six yards that was taken off the line by 'keeper Daniel Amos. In the end, IKS was able to hold off the onslaught and earn the 1-1 draw at home.
IKS look to end their winless streak on November 3 when they welcome Hapoel Acre to the Kiryat-Shmona Municipal Stadium. They are currently tied with Hapoel Be'er Sheva in eighth place in the Israeli Premier League.
Ryan Adeleye, who has yet to make his first appearance with Hapoel Be'er Sheva, will be looking to do so that same day, when his team faces league-leading Ashdod at home.