K8, Beersheba into State Cup last 16

Premier League big boys battle their way through; Nazareth of the National League upsets Netanya

By
January 14, 2015 00:42
3 minute read.
Hapoel Beersheba.

Hapoel Beersheba forward Elyaniv Barda battled Maccabi Herzliya defenders all night in his team’s 1-0 win last night in the State Cup round of 32.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

State Cup holder Ironi Kiryat Shmona and fellow Premier League title challenger Hapoel Beersheba safely made it through to the last 16 of the State Cup on Tuesday.

However, Maccabi Netanya became the first top-flight team to be knocked out by a side from a lower division after losing to Ahi Nazareth.

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After having its 16-match unbeaten streak to start the season snapped with a stunning 3-0 defeat at Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday, Kiryat Shmona bounced back with a 2-0 win at Hapoel Acre on Tuesday.

Kiryat Shmona had to work hard for the win, with Roei Kehat giving the visitors the lead from the penalty spot in the 65th minute, before Ahmed Abed secured his team’s place in Sunday’s round-of-16 draw with his 90th-minute strike.

Kiryat Shmona lifted its first State Cup in club history last season and is aiming to reach a third straight final after losing to Hapoel Ramat Gan in the title match two years ago.

In the second all-Premier League encounter on Tuesday, Ashdod SC beat Hapoel Haifa 4-2 in a penalty shootout after extra-time ended in a 0-0 draw.

Beersheba also didn’t have it all its own way against Maccabi Herzliya, but ultimately eked out a 1-0 win over the second division side.

William Suarez scored the winner in the 70th minute, with Herzliya ending the game with 10 men following Barak Lavi’s sending off in the 77th minute.

The bankrupt Netanya was hoping for a pleasant distraction from its fight for Premier League survival, but instead it suffered an especially humbling defeat, losing 3-1 at Ahi Nazareth of the National League.

Netanya took the lead through Eyad Abu Abaid (23), but conceded goals from three former players. Ido Exbard leveled the score from the penalty spot eight minutes from the break, with Alain Masudi (70) and Ali Khatib (73) securing Nazareth’s progress.

Maccabi Petah Tikva had to dig deep before recording a 2-1 win at Givat Olga of the third division.

Idan Shemesh (7) gave the visitors a perfect start, but despite dropping to 10 men following Dekel Cohen’s red card in the 35th minute, Givat Olga equalized through Tomer Shriki seven minutes from time. However, the hosts couldn’t hold on for extra-time, with Moshiko Lugasi netting the winner in the 88th minute.

“We advanced, but they are the ones who deserve all the compliments,” said Petah Tikva coach Ran Ben-Shimon.

“We should have played much better, but this is the cup and all that matters is that we move on.”

Holon SC of the fifth division (Liga Gimel) saw its Cinderella run come to an end following a 4-1 defeat to third division Ma’alot-Tarshiha.

Holon came through seven rounds to reach the round of 32, but was outplayed on Tuesday.

The final fourth division team in the draw was also sent packing on Tuesday, with Bnei Eilat losing 2-1 to Hapoel Kfar Saba of the National League.

Also Tuesday, Hapoel Afula (NL) beat Hapoel Marmorek (III) 3-0 and Shikun Hamizrach (III) defeated Hapoel Migdal Haemek (III) 1-0.

On Wednesday, Beitar Tel Aviv/Ramle of the National League hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv in Ramle, while Hapoel Ramat Hasharon of the second division welcomes Maccabi Haifa.

Maccabi Tel Aviv hasn’t won the cup since 2005, and after already lifting the Toto Cup last month, has its sights set on claiming an unprecedented treble.

Haifa’s cup drought is even longer, with the Greens not winning the trophy since 1998. With Haifa getting its league campaign off to a disastrous start, which resulted in the firing of coach Aleksandar Stanojevic and the signing of Marco Balbul in his place, the Greens are especially desperate for a long cup run.

On Thursday, Hapoel Ashkelon (III) faces Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Yavne (NL) hosts Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Rishon Lezion (NL) welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv.


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