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