RECAP: WEEKEND ISRAELI ACTION
Bryan Gerzicich went the full 90 minutes for Ironi Kiryat Shmona but the defending champions lost yet again and have struggled to find their magic from last year.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 0-1 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Gerzicich and Ironi Kiryat Shoma desperately needed a win to stay in the hunt for their second consecutive Israeli League championship but a third minute strike by Hapoel Tel Aviv's Toto Tamuz proved to be too much.
Soon after the opening whistle, Roy Gordana opened up the surprised Blue Lion defense with a knifing run and found Tamuz, who drilled it past Shmona goalkeeper Daniel Amos from the 18 yard line. Shmona's best chance came on a Dan Einbender blast from 25 yards, which beat Tel Aviv goalie Boris Kleiman but struck the post, preserving the shutout.
The Blue Lions were on the receiving end of some luck in the 55th minute, when Amos clearly took down Red Demon forward Omer Damari on a breakaway chance but no penalty was given. The defending champions had one last gasp attempt in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Shimon Abuhatzira keenly maneuvered around two defenders in the box but was unable to cross the ball when challenged by Kleiman.
Hapoel Tel Aviv, with the win, moves into a share of first place while Ironi Kiryat Shmona sit in eighth position. The Red Demons next travel to the Estadio Vicente Calderón and face Atlético Madrid in Europa League action. Ironi Kiryat Shmona next welcome Athletic Club to Northern Israel in Europa League Group I action.
Leonard Krupnik did not feature for Maccabi Netanya as they fell to Ramat HaSharon 2-1. They currently sit in ninth position with 11 points.
Ryan Adeleye will have to wait a bit longer to see his first game action of the season as Be'er Sheva's match was postponed due to the violence in Israel. The match has not been rescheduled yet.