Petah Tikva takes Toto Cup with final triumph over K8

Petah Tikva beat Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv in the group stage before knocking out Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Haifa on the way to the final.

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February 3, 2016 00:53
2 minute read.
Maccabi Petah Tikva midfielder Gidi Kanyuk (right) celebrates after scoring past Beitar Jerusalem go

Maccabi Petah Tikva midfielder Gidi Kanyuk (right) celebrates after scoring past Beitar Jerusalem goalkeeper Boris Kleyman (center) during last night’s 2-0 win in the Toto Cup semifinal in Netanya.. (photo credit: DANNY MAARON)

 
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Maccabi Petah Tikva won its first title in 12 years on Tuesday night, beating Ironi Kiryat Shmona 3-1 in the Toto Cup final in Netanya.

Kiryat Shmona was targeting a fifth title in the past six seasons, including a third Toto Cup after lifting the trophy in 2010/11 and 2011/12. Kiryat Shmona also won an historic Premier League championship in 2011/12 and the State Cup in 2013/14.

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Petah Tikva, on the other hand, hadn’t lifted a trophy since 2004, but it finally ended that drought on Tuesday with a fourth Toto triumph in club history.

“I wasn’t very excited before the final but as the match drew closer I got more excited and the feeling is very special now,” said Petah Tikva coach Ran Ben-Shimon, who guided Kiryat Shmona to its championship triumph and both Toto Cups. “The players came through tonight and deserve this victory.”

Petah Tikva beat Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv in the group stage before knocking out Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Haifa on the way to the final.

However, it got off to the worst possible start on Tuesday, with Kiryat Shmona taking the lead through Bruno after exactly six minutes. Ofir Mizrahi’s pass sliced the Petah Tikva defense and left the Brazilian striker with an easy finish.

Petah Tikva moved back on level terms after 20 minutes, with Hagay Goldenberg finishing off a nifty team move. A mistake by goalkeeper Mahadi Zuabi in the 59th minute gifted Petah Tikva its second goal, with the stopper failing to control a backpass, allowing Mohammed Kalibat to steal the ball and score into an empty net.



Liran Rotman put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute with a superb solo effort.

Meanwhile, for a second straight year Gili Vermouth is set to be involved in the most talked about transfer of the local January transfer window after reaching an agreement on Tuesday to join Maccabi Haifa from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Vermouth left Hapoel Tel Aviv for the yellow-and-blue last year in a dramatic final day of the winter transfer window, just one day after the arch-rivals met.

Hapoel received 700,000 euros for his services, but Vermouth didn’t settle at Maccabi, making just 30 appearances over all competitions, 11 of them as a substitute. He failed to score a single goal and registered only one assist.

Reports on Monday linked him with a shocking move back to Hapoel, but the club released a statement late Monday night, reading: “Gili Vermouth has not signed for Hapoel Tel Aviv and will not sign. Period, end of story.”

Haifa was hoping to bring Vermouth aboard all along, and after the option to join Hapoel fell through, the midfielder met with Greens owner Jacob Shachar on Tuesday and the two reached an agreement.

Haifa is set to finalize the deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

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