Cheeky Backheel Football Israel Podcast December 16 2014


Right click here to download The Cheeky Backheel Podcast from December 16, 2014

Roy Jankelowitz, reporter for Israel Sport and the man behind the fantastic Facebook Page HaShishit B’Europa joined me on the Cheeky Backheel Podcast to talk Football Israel!

The Sports Rabbi & Roy discuss the latest in the Ligat Ha’Al Israel Football League as we head into the return matches this coming weekend after the first 13 matches of the season!

Make sure to tune in and check us out on iTunes!

Football Israel Ligat Ha’al rd 13 December 13-15 2014

Maccabi Tel Aviv closed the gap with Kiryat Shemona to only 2 points as K8 were shocked at home! Beer Sheva played one of their worst matches of the season Maccabi Haifa won the Haifa derby and Beitar Jerusalem finished the round with a 0-0 draw!

Beitar Jerusalem 0-0 Hapoel Raanana

Beitar played their home game at the Moshava Stadium in Petach Tikva in front of 6,500 fans but couldn’t find the back of the goal in a listless 0-0 draw with Raanana. The visitors have now gone 5 straight matches without a win but coach Haim Silvas is optimistic. For Beitar the darw was their 7th in 13 matches to go along with 3 wins and 3 losses good fro 7th place in the table.

Hapoel Haifa 0-4 Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa officially welcomed back Yossi Benayoun as he scored his first goal since his comeback to Israel after heading in a free kick. Surprisingly the next two goals from Maccabi came off of headers as well by Idan Vered & Marcos Madera Miguel. Shimon Abuhetzeira slotted home the finale as Hapoel Haifa will take their tails and head back to the drawing board. The first thing that may occur is Reuven Atar being replaced as manager, time will tell.

Hapoel Petach Tikva 1-3 Maccabi Tel Aviv

Petach Tikva opened the acronym shocking the defending champions in the 5th minute on a brilliant strike by Shachar Hirsch. But that was all from the home side as Maccabi Tel Aviv scored three unanswered goals on a brace by Eran Zahavi which included a penalty goal plus an absolute GOALAZO by Maharan Radi. Radi, who has not been a main cog in coach Pako Ayestaran’s machine did what he needed to do when the chance to start presented itself. Dan Einbinder also saw time in the 2nd half coming back from injury and making his debut this season. Keeper Juan Pablo was substituted at halftime by Barack Levy as his nagging hand injury is still lingering.

Kiryat Shemona 2-2 Hapoel Akko

Table leaders Kiryat Shemona offered free entrance to its supporters Saturday evening and were entertained when the home club scored two goals to take a 2-0 lead. Ofir Mizrachi & David Manga slotted home goals, however it was Hamdi Salihi who came to the rescue for Alon Harazi’s side cutting the lead to one and then Raz Stain slotted the equalizer home to steal a point in arguably the toughest stadium to play in Ligat Ha’Al.

Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 Hapoel Beer Sheva

Bnei Sakhnin played a perfect game against 2nd place Beer Sheva and gave new manager Eli Cohen a 2-0 win in his debut as Sakhnin coach. Feras Magharbeh scored a penalty in the 1st half and Muhamed Ghadir made it 2-0 in the 2nd frame as the home side stifled Elyanic Barda, Shlomi Arbeitman and Maor Bozaglo.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-2 Maccabi Petach Tikva

Hapoel Tel Aviv’s woes continued losing yet again to former coach Ran Ben Shimon in a home game played in Netanya due to ten radius ban level down on the Reds due to the Derby Chaos. Tel Aviv struck first with Lucas Sahsa scoring but the Luzon owned club received 2nd half goals by Gidi Kanuk & Oz Peretz to take the 3 points.

Maccabi Netanya 0-0 Ashdod

Nir Klinger and his Ashdod squad went up to Netanya and came away with a draw after Larry Kayode’s good goal was disallowed on an incorrect offside call. Eran Levy also came close off a corner kick but these were no goals to be found on Saturday afternoon at they Netanya stadium.

Sabras Israelis Abroad December 6-8 2014

Here’s a roundup of Israeli footballers playing abroad and how they fared the past weekend! Congratulations to Idan Weitzman on winning this week’s Sabra Award!!

Idan Weitzman- Azerbaijan Premyer Liqa, Simurq- ASSISTED on GOAL and played 90 mins in 2-1 loss to Sumqayıt & played 90 minutes and picked up yellow card in 6-0 win over RƏVAN

Sintiyahu Sollalich- Slovenia League, Maribor- SCORED a GOAL & Played 64 minutes in 4-1 win over Radomlje & played 6 minutes in 4-2 win over Krka

Eyal Golasa- Greece Super League, PAOK – played 90 minutes in 4-2 loss over Xanthi & played 90 minutes and picked up yellow card in 2-1 loss to Olympiakos

Bibras Natcho- Russia Premier League, CSKA Moscow- played 90 minutes in 2-1 win over Kuban Krasnodar

Ben Sahar- Eredivisie, Willem II- played 90 minutes in 5-0 loss to Ajax

Rami Gershon- Belgian Jupiler League, Gent- played 90 minutes in 0-0 with Gent & played 90 mins in 1-0 win over Lommel United Cup Match

Kenny Saief- Belgian Jupiler League, Gent- played 90 minutes in 0-0 with Gent & played 90 mins & picked up yellow card in 1-0 win over Lommel United Cup Match

Dudu Biton- Slovenia League, Maribor- Played 17 minutes in 4-1 win over RADOMLJE and SCORED a GOAL & played 20 minutes in 4-2 win over Krka

Lior Refaelov- Belgian Jupiler League, Club Brugge- played 90 minutes in 2-1 win over Zulte Waregem & SCORED a PENALTY GOAL & played 90 minutes in 3-0 win over KORTRIJK

Roberto Colautti- Cyprus Division 1, AEK Larnaca- played 90 minutes in 3-0 win over Apollon

Toto Tamuz- Romania Liga 1, Petrolul- played 90 minutes in 2-2 draw with CONCORDIA CHIAJNA

Beram Kayal- Scottish Premiership, Celtic- did not play in 1-0 win over Patrick Thistle

Nir Biton- Scottish Premiership, Celtic- played 90 minutes in 1-0 win over Motherwell & played 2nd half of 1-0 win Patrick Thistle

Tomer Hemed- Spain La Liga, Almeria- played 45 minutes, 1st half in 5-2 loss to Eibar

Itay Schecter- France Ligue 1, Nantes- Did not play in 2-1 loss to PSG

Tal Ben Haim- England Championship, Reading- Played 90 minutes in 1-1 draw Nottingham Forest

Cheeky Backheel Podcast December 9 2014


Right click here to download The Cheeky Backheel Podcast from December 9, 2014

Roy Jankelowitz, reporter for Israel Sport and the man behind the fantastic Facebook Page HaShishit B’Europa joined me on the Cheeky Backheel Podcast to talk Football Israel!

The Sports Rabbi & Roy talk about the Maccabi Tel Aviv & Beitar Jerusalem match, the other Round 12 matches, the latest news & more!

Make sure to tune in and check us out on iTunes!

Football Israel Ligat Ha’al Round 12 December 6-8 2014

Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-1 Beitar Jerusalem

Maccabi Tel Aviv were pretty disappointed in splitting the points with Beitar Jerusalem aft giving up a 94th minute goal to leave Maccabi 4 points adrift from the top spot and mired in 3rd place behind Hapoel Beer Sheva. For some reason Beitar always shows up in big games in against the big clubs drawing against both Kiryat Shemona & Beer Sheva plus winning on the road at Hapoel Tel Aviv and at home with Maccabi Haifa. So it was no surprise that Beitar coach Menachem Koretzky had his team prepared for the Maccabi Tel Aviv fire power and for the game plan that their coach Pako Ayestaran had planned for the 90 minutes.

After scoreless first half where Maccabi Tel Aviv hit the crossbar 3 times they finally broke through on an Eran Zahavi scissors kick goal which will be highlighted across Israel over the next 24 hours. But aft a number of substitutions by both sides, Beitar made Maccabi pay for some sloppy defensive work as Omer Atzili placed the perfect ball headed into Juan Pablo’s goal in the 94th minute to tie up the match. The draw for Maccabi Tel Aviv it means that they will be in the 3rd position when the matches start up again next weekend with Kiryat Shemona holding the lead with 28points followed by Beer Sheva with 25points & Maccabi with 24points.

Maccabi Petach Tikva 1-2 Hapoel Petach Tikva

Hapoel defeats Maccabi in the Petach Tikva Derby at the Moshava Stadium in front of xxx fans! Liroie Tseiri scored first for Hapoel on a funky rebound goal that was lofted over the Maccabi ‘keeper Tzachi Gigi for a 1-0 lead. Dedi Ben Dayan leveled the score for Maccabi but Omri Altman in loan from Maccabi Tel Aviv scored the game winner and sent the Hapoel supporters into pandemonium by taking the first derby of the 2014-15 season.

Ashdod 3-1 Hapoel Tel Aviv

Ashdod is looking mighty fine these days as Nir Klinger again picks up the win field by a Yerro Bello brace. David Solari also scored for the home side from an Ofer Varta feed as struggling Hapoel Tel Aviv received there marker from Shoval Gozlan on loan from Maccabi Haifa.

Maccabi Haifa 1-3 Kiryat Shemona

Table leaders Kiryat Shemona continued their undefeated streak with yet another win at Sammy Ofer stadium in dominating fashion. In an entertaining match Kiryat Shemona broke through first with a fantastic David Manga free kick that Rodgers Kola headed the ball into the goal. Ofir Mizrachi doubled the score as he picked up a goal before Idan Vered pulled Haifa to within one. But after the 4th official signaled for 6 minutes of added time Kola completed his brace and put the smack down on any thoughts that Haifa would come back to draw. With the win Kiryat Shemona is still in first place with 28 points as coach Barak Bechar won One.co.il coach of the month award for November!

Hapoel Beer Sheva 4-0 Hapoel Haifa

Beer Sheva moved into 2nd place at least for the next 48 hours with the win. Maor Bozaglo opened the scoring with a brilliant 20 meters missile of a goal after being named by Israeli sports website One.co.il the player of the month for November. Roie Gordana scored the second after Haifa keeper Kovar Premysl came out poorly to clear the ball & Gordana lofted it over the helpless keeper. Shlomi Arbeitman followed up with a goal of his own in the 44th minute on a fabulous feed by Nigerian John Ogu, and completed the rout with his second of the night in the 2nd half.

Hapoel Akko 1-2 Maccabi Netanya

Netanya shocked Akko away with goals by Romanian Cristian Sirghi and striker Eran Levy who also assisted on the first goal for Netanya. Albanian Hamdi Salihi scored for Akko as the pressure surrounding Netanya’s owner & coach will subside for a few days and Yossi Mizrachi can breathe a little easier.

Hapoel Raanana 1-1 Bnei Sakhnin

Feras Magharbeh scored on a penalty for Bnei Sakhnin to give them a 1-0 lead as Mamadou Thiam tied it up for Haim Silvas’s club scoring the first goal for Raanana in 4 games. Bnei Sakhnin head coach Guy Levy was dismissed Friday as the search for a new head man is underway with Eli Cohen being the lead man for the position.

Football Israel Cheeky Backheel Podcast December 5 2014


Right click here to download The Cheeky Backheel Podcast from December 5, 2014

Roy Jankelowitz, reporter for Israel Sport and the man behind the fantastic Facebook Page HaShishit B’Europa joined me on the Cheeky Backheel Podcast to talk Football Israel!

The Sports Rabbi & Roy review the midweek clashes including Kiryat Shemona & Hapoel Beer Sheva’s draw, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s win & more!

Make sure to tune in and check us out on iTunes!

Sabras Israelis Abroad November 29 to December 1 2014

Here’s a roundup of Israeli footballers playing abroad and how they fared the past weekend! Congratulations to Bibras Natcho on winning this week’s Sabra Award!!

Bibras Natcho- Russia Premier League, CSKA Moscow- SCORED a goal & ASSISTED on another played 72 minutes in 5-0 win over UFA & played 90 minutes in 1-1 draw with Roma

Ben Sahar- Eredivisie, Willem II- SCORED 1 goal & assisted on another & played 90 minutes in 4-0 win over Dordrecht

Monas Dabbur- Swiss Super League, Grasshoppers- SCORED 1 goal & played 90 minutes & picked up yellow card in 3-3 draw with Sion

Rami Gershon- Belgian Jupiler League, Gent- SCORED a goal & played 90 minutes in 2-1 loss to Zulte Waregem

Dudu Biton- Slovenia League, Maribor- Played 8 minutes in 3-2 win over Rudar

Lior Refaelov- Belgian Jupiler League, Club Brugge- played 27 minutes in 0-0 draw with Torino & played 90 minutes a picked up a yellow card in 2-2 draw with Anderlecht

Omer Damari- Austrian Bundesliga, Austria Wien- played 90 minutes & picked up a yellow card in 1-1 draw with Ried

Roberto Colautti- Cyprus Division 1, AEK Larnaca- played 90 minutes in 1-0 win over Doxa

Toto Tamuz- Romania Liga 1, Petrolul- played 90 minutes in 0-0 draw with Dinamo Bucurestu

Gal Shaish- Ukraine Premier League, Volyn- played 90 mins in 2-1 win over ILLICHIVETS’

Guy Assulin- Spain Segunda Diviosn, Mallorca- played 19 mins in 1-0 loss to Sporting Gijon

Idan Weitzman- Azerbaijan Premyer Liqa, Simurq- played 90 mins in 3-2 loss to Qarabag

Beram Kayal- Scottish Premiership, Celtic- Did not play in 3-1 loss to Salzburg & did not play in 4-0 win over Hearts

Nir Biton- Scottish Premiership, Celtic- Did not play in 3-1 loss to Salzburg & played 90 minutes in 4-0 win over Hearts

Kenny Saief- Belgian Jupiler League, Gent- Did not play in 2-1 loss to Zulte-Waregem

Tomer Hemed- Spain La Liga, Almeria- played 73 minutes in 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano

Sintiyahu Sollalich- Slovenia League, Maribor- Played 90 minutes in 3-2 win over Rudar & played 69 minutes in 3-1 loss to Sporting CP

Itay Schecter- France Ligue 1, Nantes- Did not play in 2-0 loss to Marseille

Tal Ben Haim- England Championship, Reading- Played 90 minutes and gave away ball for wining goal in 1-0 loss to Ipswich

Football Israel Ligat Ha’al Round 11 December 2-4 2014

Maccabi Netanya 0-4 Maccabi Haifa

A dominant performance by Haifa at the Netanya Stadium Wednesday night sees the visitors wining their second in a row with a date against Kiryat Shemona coming up on Saturday evening. Weam Amasha scored a natural hat trick in the first half that led the Green Apes to go well, Ape!

His first goal was a tap in from Shimon Abuheitzeira; the second a magnificent once in a million goal headed in from a Talleb Tawatha ball and the third as the referee Ziv Adler was about to blow the halftime whistle where Amasha picked the pocket of the Netanya defender attempting a back pass to keeper Harush. Kind of funny how on Sunday night Amasha had all kinds of chances and only potted one. It seems the goal scoring rust has been removed!

Idan Vered scored the last goal and complete the rout. Netanya has been under turmoil the last while as the ownership does not want to out more money into the club and would like to find a buyer and quickly. Players have not been paid salaries and the coach Yossi Mizrachi is under fire from the fan base that quickly turned against the team during the match. Turmoil and chaos would be the two words to describe what Netanya is going through.

On the flip side a very jolly Aleksander Stanoyvich played to the fans after the match and was being serranded by the supporters for over 10 minutes after the game! The only way they would stop was when he finally & begrudgingly went over to them and caught a scarf which he said he would be sleeping with from now on!

Watching him after brutal losses in Beer Sheva & Ashdod and now after back to back wins one can see that Stanoyvich lets his feelings be known during the good and during the bad, one has to feel really good for him right now. He deserves his time in the sun. He deserves the accolades. Though he wanted to walk away just a week ago after the Ashdod disaster and was not allowed to by owner Yakov Shachar, as well the Serbian National Team job had been open he is still here, and hopefully to stay.

However, the truth must be told that the real recipe for success has been the insertion of captain Yossi Benayoun. Since coming back from injury last week the club has looked energized, disciplined and organized. Sure Benayoun has not scored any goals yet, but just his mere presence on the pitch has changed the attitude of the club. It’s as if Benayoun waved his magic wand, said abracadabra, and made all of the losing disappear. His influence is contagious and I’m sure coach Stanoyvich hopes that it stays that way.

Bnei Sakhnin 1-3 Maccabi Tel Aviv

Would a match with Maccabi Tel Aviv be complete without a goal by Eran Zahavi? Of course not! His goal in the 40th minute tied up the game after Bnei Sakhnin took a shock lead on a 5th minute goal by Muhamed Ghadir. But that was all she wrote for the home side as Eden Ben Basat and Barak Badash scored goals of their own to pull Maccabi Tel Aviv to within 2 points of table leaders Kiryat Shemona.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-3 Hapoel Akko

Hapoel Akko shocked the Reds by scoring 3 unanswered goals in th span of 10 minutes to collect the 3 points at the Moshava Stadium due to a radius penalty handed down to the Tel Aviv club. Moshe Ohayon scored for Hapoel Tel Aviv giving them a 1-0 lead heading into halftime but goals by Branislav Jovanovic, Amir Abu El Nil & Hamdi Salihi between the 50th & 60th minutes sealed the deal for Akko.

Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 Hapoel Petach Tikva

Jerusalem finally got off the bad slide they were having and beat last place Hapoel Petach Tikva 3-1. The home side playing in front of only 4,500 supporters scored first as Claudimer Perrera launched a 6th minute free kick into the goal. Shlomi Azoulay made it 2-0 but the visitors quickly halved the score on a goal by Mirko Ormush. However, substitute Zarko Korac put away the game with a 76th minute strike good enough to send the fans home happy with 3 points.

Maccabi Petach Tikva 1-1 Ashdod

David Solari scored for Ashdod to take an early 1-0 lead but Daniel Dimov evened the score up just 13 minutes later in the 16th minute and that was all she wrote for the  scoring in this match as the sides split the points. Petavh Tikva moved into 4th place as coach Ran Ben Shimon couldn’t be happier with his club thus far this year.

Hapoel Haifa 1-0 Hapoel Raanana

Haifa picked up the win and three points with a 93rd minute strike by Hiasham Kiwan keeping Raanana winless and scorelss now in four straight matches!matches!

Kiryat Shemona Beer Sheva And Israeli Politics

You never quite know what you get when you attend a sporting event. Of course that’s usually what you would think if it was just the two teams on the pitch and in this case we are talking about Hapoel Beer Sheva and Kiryat Shemona in Israel’s Northern Capitol. 

Except tonight when Football Israel number one & number two kicked off, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu stole the show by dissolving the current government and calling for new elections. The news of elections in Israel, especially after a serious war this past summer trumps all other news, happenings and of course sporting events on that night.

Luckily, I was in Kiryat Shemona and not glued to the TV watching the political soap opera, but instead seeing how arguably the two top teams right now in Israel not named Maccabi Tel Aviv would fare against each other. After more than 10 years I finally made it all the way north to see the sights on and off of the football pitch.

Would Kiryat Shemona suffer their first home defeat since January 2014? How about their first loss of the 2014-15 season? Could Beer Sheva with their potent offense and top players come in and get closer to the top? Those were just some of the questions being asked by those in the “know”.

One of those people was Shachar whom I met walking through the quaint town early in the evening. He was decked out all in blue with Kiryat Shemona emblazoned on every piece of clothing from hat & scarf to pants and shoes! 

He asked me if I was ther to support Kiryat Shemona? I guess he must know almost everyone in town and of course those who are regulars at the stadium.

I asked him what he thought of his club in comparison to others in the league. He pointedly said, hey we are a modest side. We don’t speed lots of money and we don’t have all of the name players like Maccabi Tel Aviv, Haifa and others. But take a look at how many people descended on this town from the center of the country including yourself. We must be doing something right.

Shachar couldn’t have uttered truer words about the situation in Kiryat Shemona. They defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv last week and ended up drawing 1-1 with Beer Sheva.

After the game, David Manga talked about that perhaps he and the club has lost a bit of confidence. He went on to say that last season was better than this and spoke honestly about confidence, confidence & more confidence. Quite curious that he was so confident that they were maybe, just maybe losing their confidence.

Born in Paris, the 25 year old plays internationally for the Central African Republic, a very small country and not one that has made an impact on the world stage. He has been able to supply a ton of assists and is very dangerous from the corners, but the goals are down from last year and that must certainly be bothering him.

With a win over Maccabi Tel Aviv last week, Kiryat Shemona has drawn in the last two matches against Raanana & now Beer Sheva. Ben Biton score first for the visitors and Rodgers Kola brought his club level on a 2nd half penalty. 

Did we see “big” football? The answer is yes and no. There were scoring chances and both sides attempted to take the three points. Wete both teams playing a bit cautiously in order not to lose? The answer is yes which ends up resulting in a no, we did not see the best that each club could offer.

Maor Bozaglo & Shlomi Arbeitman both had games to forget and Elyaniv Barda had a couple of solid chances but no more. Nigerian John Ogu continues to impress as he moves extremely fluidly on the pitch and has terrific vision. You may want to call him the Yaya Toure of Israel.

For the hosts, Kola slotted home the one chance he had on the penalty as Manga struggled throughout the match and substitute Ofir Mizrachi did not have many opportunities. 

That being the result, both lost ground to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Should Tel Aviv win Wednesday night in Akko against Bnei Sakhnin they will leap frog Beer Sheva into 2nd place and only be two points behind first place Kiryat Shemona. It’s amazing how quickly things change up in Israel.

Something like the politics in this country. 

Cheeky Backheel Football Israel Podcast December 1 2014


Right click here to download The Cheeky Backheel Podcast from December 1, 2014

Roy Jankelowitz, reporter for Israel Sport and the man behind the fantastic Facebook Page HaShishit B’Europa joined me on the Cheeky Backheel Podcast to talk Football Israel!

The Sports Rabbi & Roy review the weekend’s matches including Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv & Hapoel Beer Sheva wins. We also look forward to the midweek round of games.

Make sure to tune in and check us out on iTunes!