Hap Petah Tikva avoids relegation

Hapoel Petah Tikva defeated Hapoel Kfar Saba to secure itself another season of Premier League soccer on Friday.

May 29, 2011 03:07
1 minute read.
Hapoel Petah Tikva and Betar Jerusalem, Saturday.

hapoel petah tikva_311. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)

Hapoel Petah Tikva completed a 5-1 aggregate victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba to secure itself another season of Premier League soccer on Friday, winning the second leg 1-0 on the road at the Levita Stadium.

Petah Tikva, which finished the 2010/11 campaign in 14th place after defeating Hapoel Ashkelon 3-0 in the final weekend of the regular season, thrashed Kfar Saba of the National League 4-1 in the first leg on Tuesday.

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It then had little trouble officially maintaining its top-flight status on Friday, with Alon Turgeman scoring the only goal of the match in the ninth minute.

“I took upon myself a complicated mission when I joined the club and I’m happy I succeeded,” said Petah Tikva coach Gili Landau, who took over the team just three matches before the end of the season.

“The players were under a lot of pressure over the last week, but we managed to record good results. It is important that this club survived in the Premier League.”

With Petah Tikva ensuring itself another season of topflight soccer, its 28th in the last 29 years, it will now reluctantly once more turn its attention to the off-pitch matters that overshadowed its relegation playoff.

Petah Tikva owner Gal Hatzor, management members, players and coaches have all been questioned by police in recent weeks regarding an ongoing match-fixing investigation.

Police investigators believe that some of Petah Tikva’s matches this season were fixed for betting purposes, but no charges have been pressed thus far.

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