Plzen decimates reeling Hapoel TA

Hapoel Tel Aviv suffers 4-0 defeat in Europa League to Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic.

Salim Toama Hapoel TA 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Salim Toama Hapoel TA 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Any lingering hope Hapoel Tel Aviv may have had of advancing to the Europa League round-of-32 was lost in humiliating fashion on Thursday night following a 4-0 defeat at Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic.
With two more matches remaining in the group stage, Hapoel is bottom of Group B with just a single point, eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and Plzen.
Hapoel coach Yossi Abuksis had said ahead of the encounter that Sunday’s Premier League derby against Maccabi Tel Aviv was far more important to him and he proved that by making seven changes to the lineup that lost 2-1 at Maccabi Netanya.
Abuksis rested the likes of Hanan Maman, Tal Ben-Haim and Omer Damari and Hapoel never really showed up on Thursday.
Salim Toama almost gave Hapoel the lead in the 10th minute when his free kick from the edge of the area flew centimeters wide of the upright, but that was really all Tel Aviv could muster throughout the 90 minutes.
Plzen led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Daniel Kolar (23) and David Stipek (39) and Hapoel also found itself down to 10 men after Eric Djemba-Djemba was shown a straight red card in the 41st minute for a reckless foul on Vladimir Darida.
Two more headed goals by Kolar (76) and Marek Bakos (84) poured salt on Hapoel’s wounds and Tel Aviv equaled its heaviest ever defeat in European competition.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona’s match against Sparta Prague in Group I ended after press time.