betar jerusalem 88.
(photo credit: )
Betar Jerusalem will have to defeat Hapoel Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium if it is to become the first team in 71 years to win three straight State Cups.
The two favorites were paired together in the quarterfinals of the competition at the draw held at Israel Football Association headquarters in National Stadium in Ramat Gan on Wednesday. They will meet in Tel Aviv for a place in the last four on April 13 or 14.
“This is a tough draw,” said Betar coach David Amsalem, who has guided the team to five straight Premier League victories and a penalty shootout win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the cup since replacing Itzhak Schum.
“Hapoel Tel Aviv is an excellent team and we were hoping to only face it later in the competition. We beat a strong team in the previous round as well and to win the cup we will now also have to defeat Hapoel.”
Hapoel Ramat Gan’s reward for knocking out Maccabi Haifa in the last 16 is a home tie against Bnei Yehuda.
Ramat Gan beat Haifa 2-1 after extra time last week, but will once more be the underdog when it hosts Guy Luzon’s squad.
“Our goal is to reach the semifinals and we are focusing on ourselves and not on the opponent,” Luzon said.
In the other two quarterfinal encounters, National League club Ironi Ramat Hasharon will host Maccabi Petah Tikva and Ashdod SC will welcome Hapoel Upper Nazareth of the second division.
However, the undoubted tie of the round will be played at Bloomfield.
Hapoel and Betar have met each other in the cup three times in the past
11 years, all in the final, with each match being decided on penalties.
In 1999 and 2000, Tel Aviv lifted the silverware, with Betar claiming the most recent shootout two years ago.
“This is a tough draw for both teams, but we are happy the match will
be played at Bloomfield,” Hapoel assistant coach Yossi Abuksis said. ‘
“Betar has got great momentum at the moment, but this is the draw we got and we will have to deal with it.”
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