ANDY SCHREUR - Monday, December 31, 2012
Bryan Gerzicich and Ironi Kiryat Shmona continued their hot league play and defeated Maccabi Netanya on Saturday.
Maccabi Netanya 3 - 4 Ironi Kiryat Shmona
Gerzicich wen the full 90 minutes for the defending champions, who needed all four goals to get past Netanya in a wild match in Tel Aviv.
Leonard Krupnik did not feature for Netanya as questions about his future mount.
The Blue Lions came out of the gate quickly when Shimon Abuhatzira notched his seventh goal of the season on a wide open header in the third minute.
Netanya answered right back three minutes later when Achmad Saba'a tied the game also on a header. The match was even at one apiece going into the intermission, after which the game really opened up with an explosive second half.
Kiryat Shmona started the half at a torrid pace and Sintiyahu Salalik was left alone in the middle of the box to tap home a cross and make it 2-1.
Just a minute later, Kiryat Shmona would make it 3-1. Netanya turned the ball over on the kickoff and Abuhatzira volleyed home a cross spectacularly.
Frustration at Netanya was visible. Fans in the first several rows were seen screaming and taunting Netanya head coach Tal Benin after the third goal.
In the 72nd minute, Salalik got his second goal of the game by neatly dribbling around a tired, uninterested Netanya back four and coolly slotting the ball away for the 4-1 lead to the visitors.
Netanya did rally behind an 80th minute goal by Dragan Ćeran and a 90th minute goal by Kobi Dajani, however the late staged comeback would fall short and Netanya find themselves in 13th place and in the relegation zone.
Kiryat Shmona, with the win, move into third place and trail Maccabi Tel Aviv by eight points with ten matches to go.
Ryan Adeleye did not make the 18 as Hapoel Be'er Sheva lost 2-0 to Maccabi Haifa.