Maccabi Tel Aviv “Shahar,” the club’s under-19 team, notched a vital 2-1 win over league leaders Maccabi Haifa on Saturday, a first defeat for the team from the north who have won their last eight games and drawn the other.

Maccabi, who lay third in the standings at the start of play, having won their last four matches, continued their good momentum and were soon in the lead when Rave Asayag slotted home in the fifth minute after latching on to a cross from the right by Omri Ram.

Maccabi had at least three more good chances to score in the first half, but on two occasions shots went close, and Haifa had their goalkeeper Sharif Kayuf to thank for keeping the ball out.

A few more second-half chances for Maccabi failed to find the target, while an extended period of play failed to yield and significant assaults on either goal.

Maccabi finally found the net for a second time two minutes into injury time when substitute Shaked Navon shot unmarked at goal and the ball took a deflection off a Haifa defender to beat Kayuf in goal.

Haifa then had time for a last-gasp consolation strike when Ilai Hajaj got hold of a loose ball let go by Maccabi ‘keeper Ben Musayof and rolled the ball home just before the final whistle sounded.