Hapoel Tel Aviv players celebrating.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Tel Aviv squeezed into the last 16 of the State Cup on Thursday night, while Bnei Sakhnin suffered a surprise exit at the hands of Maccabi Yavne of the National League.
Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Rishon Lezion of the National League 2-1 after Sakhnin had lost 1-0 at Yavne. The match between Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Ashkelon ended after press time.
Gili Vermut put Tel Aviv in front after 15 minutes in Rishon and Israel Zaguri made it 2-0 13 minutes into the second half. Sefuan Zuabi handed Rishon a lifeline three minutes later, but Tel Aviv held on.
Sakhnin became the second top flight side to be knocked out by a team from a lower division in the round of 32, joining Maccabi Netanya, which was beaten 3-1 by Ahi Nazareth of the National League.
Yavne is only ninth in the second division, but it claimed a deserved victory courtesy of Timor Avitan’s 22nd-minute winner. Sakhnin ended the match with 10 men following Ahmed Kasoum’s sending off in the 66th minute.
Tel Aviv and Yavne joined the 13 teams which progressed on Tuesday and Wednesday: Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Hapoel Beersheba, Ashdod SC, Maccabi Petah Tikva, Hapoel Ra’anana, Hapoel Kfar Saba (NL), Ahi Nazareth (NL), Hapoel Afula (NL), Ma’alot-Tarshiha (III), Hapoel Marmorek (III) and Shikun Hamizrach (III).
The draw for the last 16 will take place on Sunday.
Beitar and Hapoel Tel Aviv will face each other in Premier League action at Teddy Stadium on Monday, with the top three in the table all in action on Saturday.
League-leader Ironi Kiryat Shmona rebounded from its first defeat of the season with a 2-0 victory over Hapoel Acre in the round of 32, and will aim to return to winning ways in the league when it visits in-form Hapoel Haifa on Saturday.
Kiryat Shmona saw its 16-match unbeaten streak to start the season snapped with a stunning 3-0 defeat at Maccabi Petah Tikva last weekend and is facing another tough road game at Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Haifa was knocked out of the cup by Ashdod SC, but Reuven Atar’s team has won three of its past four league matches to climb up to seventh place after triumphing in just three of its first 13 contests.
Two-time defending champion Maccabi Tel Aviv, which hosts rock-bottom Hapoel Acre on Saturday, made the most of Kiryat Shmona’s slip-up last weekend, closing to within a single point of first place with a 1-0 win at Maccabi Haifa.
Hapoel Beersheba, which trails Kiryat Shmona by six points, hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva and is in danger of losing touch with the top two after suffering a shock 1-0 home defeat to Hapoel Ra’anana last Saturday.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Petah Tikva hosts Ashdod.
Maccabi Haifa visits Ra’anana on Sunday, while Bnei Sakhnin welcomes Maccabi Netanya on Monday.