Hapoel Ramat Gan.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
An 84th minute goal by Golan Hermon gave Hapoel Ramat Gan a 1-0 victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba, securing Yuval Naim’s team another season of Premier League soccer.
Neither team impressed in the relegation playoff in Rishon Lezion, and Kfar Saba, which finished third in the National League standings, was the better side for much of the match.
However, Hermon’s header from Benni Haddad’s corner with six minutes remaining decided the encounter, and according to Naim saved Ramat Gan not only from relegation, but also from extinction.
“We didn’t play well tonight,” Naim said. “We were very stressed after
the crazy season we have experienced. By maintaining our Premier League
status we have given this club a chance. If we would have been relegated
I don’t think the club would have survived. This has been a crazy
season and as far as I’m concerned we have won the championship.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s national team left for its South American friendlies
on Saturday night.
Israel faces Uruguay on May 26 before visiting Chile four days later.
“We are leaving for a mission which will help us prepare for the Euro
2012 qualifiers and we will be playing two very strong teams which will
play in the World Cup,” said Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Itai Shechter. “We
will do our best to represent the country with honor.”