Tamuz books Betar's place in Toto Cup semis

Tamuz books Betars plac

Betar Jerusalem became the first team to advance to the semifinals of the Toto Cup on Tuesday, defeating Hapoel Acre 3-0. Two first half goals by Toto Tamuz gave Betar a comfortable cushion and the visitors cruised to the last four of the competition in the second half, with captain Aviram Bruchian completing the scoring five minutes from time. "The players made this match easy," said Betar coach Itzhak Schum, whose side has also won its last three Premier League encounters. "We clinched the victory in the first half and I'm pleased we are continuing the momentum. The Toto Cup is very important to us this season." Betar, which hasn't won Israel's second cup competition since the 1997/98 season, took the lead in the 29th minute when Idan Vered found Tamuz in space and the striker coolly placed the ball in the back of the net. The in-form scorer doubled Jerusalem's lead in the 40th minute, slotting the ball in after some poor marking left him with plenty of time and space. Bruchian wrapped up the victory in the 85th minute, tapping the ball into an empty net to score one of the easiest goals of his career. "We are happy we are showing continuity," Tamuz said. "We want to continue and improve. I believe that with hard work we will achieve our goals." Two more teams will book their place in the Toto Cup semifinals on Wednesday. Maccabi Haifa hosts Hapoel Petah Tikva at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium, with Maccabi Tel Aviv welcoming Ashdod SC at Bloomfield. The fourth semifinalist will be determined next Wednesday, in the match between Bnei Yehuda and Hapoel Ra'anana. Haifa coach Elisha Levy is expected to give his second- string players a chance, even though his team doesn't play again until it meets Hapoel Haifa in the derby next Monday. Maccabi Haifa's 18-year-old midfield sensation, Eyal Golasa, could be among the starting 11, a day after German newspaper Bild reported that Bayern Munich is closely monitoring him. The report suggested that Munich is facing competition in the race for Golasa's signature from Borussia Dortmund, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen. Haifa claimed that there is no truth to the rumors.