bnei sakhnin fans 88.
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Bnei Sakhnin reached the quarterfinals of the State Cup the hard way by defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv, the second place team in Premier League, 2-1 after extra time in their round of 16 match at Doha Stadium on Saturday.
"I want to dedicate this victory to our wonderful fans," said coach Elisha Levy after the upset. "The better team won today. We have shown yet again that we are capable of beating the best teams in the top flight.
"There is still a lot of work to be done over the summer, but I'm happy with the progress my team has been making."
Sakhnin currently competes in the National League, but has clinched promotion to the Premier League for next season.
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Eli Cohen decided to bench regular starter Moshe Biton in favor of Yossi Shivhon, who spearheaded a five-man midfield formation. The move hardly paid any dividends in the first half, as Sakhnin played behind the ball and foiled all of Tel Aviv's attacks.
Bnei Sakhnin played a determined second half, with a solid containing formation in addition to the occasional counterattack.
Tel Aviv seemed out of sorts and was unable to create chances for its attackers.
After a few nail-biting raids in the final minutes, the second period ended with the score 0-0 and the match entered extra time.
Ohad Kadusi struck gold just four minutes into the third period. The dynamic forward broke Tel Aviv's offside trap and his finish was on target.
Tel Aviv tried to equalize, but a Liron Vilner strike in the 117th minute sealed the result.
Giovanni Rosso gave Maccabi Tel Aviv a consolation goal in the 120th minute.
Maccabi Haifa 2,Bnei Lod 1 (aet)
Maccabi Haifa entered the game at Kiryat Eliezer as the clear favorite, but Lod came out with an efficient man-marking system which didn't allow the hosts to build a good tempo.
Shlomi Arbeitman was caught by Lod's offside trap on numerous occasions.
The visitors from the third-tier Liga Artzit even came close to scoring in the closing stages of the encounter via Jeff Aya, but the forward's shot deflected off a Haifa defender and bounced out of play, not before narrowly missing the target.
After 90 minutes, no goal had been scored.
Haifa's superior conditioning helped it break through in the 100th minute. Yaniv Katan crossed the ball into the box and Roberto Colautti headed in from close range.
Lod's Yaron Avihail scored a miserable own goal to double Haifa's lead nine minutes later.
Ahmed Saba scored for Lod in the 118th minute.
Hapoel Marmorek 0,Hapoel Tel Aviv 1
With IFA chairman Avi Luzon in attendance, the potentially one-sided fixture proved to be a thrilling encounter.
The uneven and dry pitch hampered Tel Aviv's trademark passing game, and an adamant Marmorek took full advantage.
Marmorek forced a goalless first half, but succumbed in the 87th minute. The visitors pushed forward in the dying stages of the clash looking to avoid extra time. The ball was delivered into Marmorek's penalty area, but the defense failed to clear the ball. Ibazito Ogabuna scored from close range and celebrated in style, acrobatically jumping on the roof of an ambulance parked behind the goal.
"We definitely failed to impress," Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Nir Levin said. "Did anybody check the field conditions before authorizing it?
"I won't use this as an excuse as we should have won this game in convincing fashion. We're not playing to our full potential and hopefully we'll perform better in the next round."
The State Cup Quarterfinals are scheduled for May 1-2.
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