Premier League clubs join the State Cup fray

Reigning cup-holder Hapoel Tel Aviv visits third division Ironi Kiryat Ata in the round of 32.

January 13, 2011 08:03
1 minute read.
Moti Ivanir.

Moti Ivanir 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

The Premier League’s big names avoided each other in the draw for the eighth round of the State Cup at Israel Football Association headquarters at National Stadium in Ramat Gan on Wednesday.

Reigning cup-holder Hapoel Tel Aviv visits third division Ironi Kiryat Ata in the round of 32, while Moti Ivanir’s Maccabi Tel Aviv faces a tricky road tie at Hapoel Petah Tikva, with the matches to take place on February 1/2.

“There are no easy matches in the cup,” said Ivanir, who officially took charge of Maccabi on Tuesday.

“The cup often cancels out the gaps between teams from different leagues, not to mention the differences between sides in the same league. Maccabi Tel Aviv aspires to win every competition it plays in and that goes for the cup contests as well.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Itai Shechter is hoping to help his team repeat last year’s success.

“There is still a long way to go to defend our title and even though we didn’t get the toughest draw on paper, each match is crucial and we will have to be at our best,” Shechter said.

Besides the match between the yellow-and-blue and Petah Tikva, there will be three more all-Premier League showdowns in what is the first round of matches to be played by the topflight clubs.

Betar Jerusalem visits Hapoel Ramat Gan, Maccabi Netanya hosts Bnei Yehuda and Maccabi Petah Tikva welcomes Ashdod SC.

Also in the last 32, Maccabi Haifa travels to Hapoel Kfar Saba, while Maccabi Daliat al-Carmel visits Hapoel Haifa, looking to follow in the footsteps of Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa, which became the first fourth division club in 47 years to reach the last 16 of the cup last season.

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