Hapoel Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa both overcame scares against lowly opposition
before making it through to the quarterfinals of the State Cup on Wednesday
Hapoel, the reigning cup holder, took the lead against Hapoel
Ashkelon after just five minutes, thanks to Toto Tamuz. But complacent play by
the hosts saw Ashkelon equalize through Snir Gueta in the 36th
However, Tel Aviv’s possession dominance was rewarded in the 58th
minute, with Dedi Ben-Dayan scoring the winner with a superb strike from the
corner of the box to give Hapoel a 2-1 victory at Bloomfield Stadium.
didn’t take advantage of our chances in the first half, maybe because we were
slightly arrogant,” Hapoel assistant coach Yossi Abuksis said. “We should have
finished off the game earlier, but we are still happy to have made it through to
Haifa, looking to recover from Sunday’s 4-1 Premier
League thrashing at the hands of Tel Aviv, fell into a shock early deficit
against third-division Hapoel Jerusalem, with Greens goalkeeper Nir Davidovich
inexplicably turning the ball into his own net in the 19th minute from a
relatively harmless Ofir Azu cross.
However, Jerusalem’s lead lasted less
than two minutes, with Tomer Hemed heading in the equalizer, before Lior
Rafaelov’s accurate volley in the 66th minute ensured Haifa advanced to the next
stage with a 2-1 win at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium.
“You could see in the
first half that we were playing with absolutely no confidence,” said Haifa coach
Elisha Levy, whose team hasn’t won the cup since 1998.
the lead and that slightly stressed my players, but we slowly worked our way
into the match and we got through this stage which is the most important thing
in the cup.”
Tel Aviv and Haifa join Betar Jerusalem, Ironi Kiryat
Shmona, Maccabi Netanya, Ashdod SC, Hapoel Haifa and the last remaining National
League club – Hapoel Ra’anana – in the last eight, with the quarterfinal draw to
take place at Israel Football Association headquarters at National Stadium in
Ramat Gan on Thursday night.