Hapoel Tel-Aviv Complete The Double
What a finish to the season in Ligat Ha’al. After Maccabi Haifa led through the whole campaign, Hapoel Tel-Aviv found its first league lead with a defeat of Maccabi Haifa a few weeks ago and then promptly lost it when they fell to city rivals Maccabi Tel-Aviv. However, yesterday the stars aligned for Hapoel Tel-Aviv, albeit dramatically. Hapoel needed to win their game against Beitar and hope that Maccabi Haifa would lose or tie with fourth placed side Bnei Yehuda. Things started off well initially for Hapoel as Beitar’s Idan Tal inexplicably chested the ball into his own box into the path of Gili Vermouth, who calmly finished the move. 1-0 Hapoel. The game then settled down with Hapoel and Beitar going back and forth up the field, but in the 23rd minute Omri Canada shoved Beitar’s Eliran Danin to the ground and receieved a red card for his actions. Suddenly Hapoel came under pressure and the result was a wonder goal from 25 yards out from Barak Itzhaki, 1-1. Into the break Hapoel knew they still needed a goal, and came looking for it in the second half. Their hard work paid off in the 60th minute when Tomer Ben-Yosef brought down Itay Shechter in the box. Ben-Yosef received a red card and Hapoel was awarded a penalty. However goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama blasted the penalty over the crossbar and the score remained 1-1. News then reached Teddy Stadium that Maccabi Haifa had equalized against Bnei Yehuda. Hapoel knew they need that goal and began pressing Beitar with all they had, throwing on Bojan Vrucina, Victor Mare, and pushing defender Douglas Da Silva upfield. In the 92nd minute Hapoel finally got the goal they were looking for when Eran Zahvi tapped in a rebound from a saved Gil Vermouth shot, and Hapoel went jubilant knowing they would win the title for the first time in ten years. However the game didn’t end there as Barak Itzhaki petulantly fouled Eran Zahvai right before the final whistle and was sent off. Final 2-1 Hapoel.