Mac Haifa, Betar draw second-tier foes in State Cup

Reigning cup holder Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Betar Jerusalem were all handed home matches against inferior opponents in the draw.

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February 9, 2011 08:37
1 minute read.
Mac Haifa, Betar draw second-tier foes in State Cup

beitar 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Israeli soccer’s big names were kept apart in the last 16 draw of the State Cup on Tuesday night.

Reigning cup holder Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Betar Jerusalem were all handed home matches against inferior opponents in the draw, held at Israel Football Association headquarters at National Stadium in Ramat Gan.

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Only three of the eight encounters to be played on March 1/2 will be fought between Premier League opponents.

Hapoel hosts Hapoel Ashkelon at Bloomfield Stadium in a repeat of the 2007 final, with Haifa welcoming the only remaining third-division club in the competition, Hapoel Jerusalem, and Betar Jerusalem to play National League side Hapoel Rishon Lezion at Teddy Stadium.

“Ashkelon is a good team which strengthened its squad recently,” Hapoel assistant coach Yossi Abuksis said. “We respect every team we face.”

Hapoel Jerusalem coach Lufa Kadosh promised his team will come to Kiryat Eliezer Stadium looking to claim a win.

“In soccer you need to enjoy yourself and we will not just stand there with 10 players in defense,” he said. “We will come to play our game even though Haifa clearly has better players.”



Betar coach Roni Levy refuses to take Rishon Lezion lightly.

“We respect every opponent,” he said. “Playing at Teddy gives us an advantage, but even though everyone will say this is a comfortable match, we know that there is no such thing as an easy match in the cup.”

The tightest encounter in the round of 16 will likely be between Premier League dark horses Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Hapoel Beersheba.

In other matches: Hapoel Petah Tikva, which knocked out Maccabi Tel Aviv in the eighth round, visits Maccabi Netanya, Ness Ziona hosts Hapoel Haifa, Ashdod SC goes to Maccabi Herzliya and Hapoel Ra’anana welcomes Ironi Jatt.


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