Mac TA, Betar to face off in State Cup; Reds get Kfar Saba

Before it turns its focus to Kfar Saba, Hap TA will look to revive its Premier League title challenge against Maccabi Netanya.

Abuksis 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Abuksis 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv was drawn on Thursday to host Betar Jerusalem in a mouthwatering last 16 State Cup tie.
Also in the round of 16, which will be played on February 26/27, Maccabi welcomes Hapoel in a Haifa derby, while Hapoel Tel Aviv, which has won the competition in the past three years, visits Hapoel Kfar Saba of the National League.
Before it turns its focus to Kfar Saba, Hap TA will look to revive its Premier League title challenge, starting with Saturday’s match against Maccabi Netanya at Bloomfield Stadium.
Hapoel has won just two of its past eight league games and dropped to third place in the standings, five points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv, after suffering its second straight loss on Sunday, falling 3-0 at the hands of the rampant Maccabi Haifa.
Second-placed Haifa doesn’t visit Bnei Yehuda until Sunday by which time it could find itself eight points back of the leagueleader.
The yellow-and-blue thrashed Hapoel Acre 4-0 last week, taking its goal difference over its past five home wins to 21-3.
However, Maccabi is winless over its last four road matches entering Saturday’s visit of Hapoel Ramat Gan at the National Stadium.
Rock-bottom Acre fired coach Shimon Hadari on Thursday after going winless in its past 14 league matches before being knocked out of the cup by third division Hapoel Afula. Acre hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Saturday.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa welcomes Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Beersheba visits Ashdod SC.
Chechens Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev trained with Betar Jerusalem for the first time on Thursday, but are not expected to play for the team when it visits Hapoel Ramat Hasharon on Sunday.