Ahi Nazareth will take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of the Premier League relegation playoff on Saturday after getting the better of Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan at the Ilut Stadium in Tuesday's first leg.
Nazareth, which finished in sixth position in the National League, could have well won by a bigger margin against Hakoach, which ended the Premier League season in 11th place.
However, Ramat Gan only lost by the single goal and will be confident of remaining in the Premier League with a home victory on Saturday.
"We scored a very precious goal, but you can never be pleased when your team loses," Hakoach coach Dudu Dahan said.
After a tight start to the match, Nazareth made the breakthrough in the 41st minute.
Goalkeeper Barak Visoker couldn't deal with Serge Ayeli's header and the hosts had the lead.
However, just a minute later the score was tied after Tamir For connected with Gal Levy's corner.
Nazareth would, however, grab a deserved winner three minutes into the second half when Haim Silvas curled in a delightful free kick from 20 meters out to the joy of the local crowd.