Maccabi Tel Aviv just slipped by Kiryat Shemona 2-2 (5-3 on penalties) up north in State Cup Round of 16 action. The hosts took a quick 1-0 lead on Morgan Ferrier’s goal but Eden Shamir quickly leveled the score. Ferrier scored his second of the game in the second half but Maccabi found the equalizer late thanks to Avi Rikan’s 85th minute screamer which sent the game into a 30 minute overtime. After a goalless extra session the game headed to penalties where keeper Daniel Peretz saved a pair to send the Yellow & Blue into the quarterfinals.
“It was very dramatic,” said Maccabi coach Mladen Krstajic. “Especially after a difficult league game where we showed our character. I was very calm during the penalties because we have a very good goalkeeper.”
Bnei Yehuda blanked Maccabi Shearayim 2-0 on second half goals by Israel Zaguri and Maor Bitton. “This was a tough win,” Bnei Yehuda coach Yossi Abuksis said. “Like any other Cup game, they are always difficult.”
Maccabi Haifa blasted an overmatched Beitar Jerusalem 4-0 as the Greens scored early and often to wrap up the win and move on in Cup play. An own goal began the proceedings while Muhamed Abu Fani added a penalty and Omer Atzily added a 3rd goal by the 26th minute. Tjaron Chery put the cherry on top of the win with a second half strike to put the finishing touches on the blowout.
“Our goal in every competition is to come in and play our game,” Haifa’s coach Barak Bachar said. “I spoke to the players about this and that it doesn’t make a difference as we have to come in and do our job without fooling around.”
Hapoel Beer Sheva needed the entire 120 minutes to get by Maccabi Netanya as Sagiv Yehezkel scored the winning goal just ahead of penalties to send Roni Levy’s team into the next round. Benny Lam’s squad grabbed a 1-0 lead on an own goal but Itay Shechter found the equalizer in the second half but the late dramatics put the southern reds into the quarterfinals.
“I’m old fashioned,” Levy explained. “I don’t buy the excuse that we are tired due to playing two games in a week and I believe that the players can handle that. We now have a couple of days to get ready for our league game.”
Maccabi Petah Tikva downed Maccabi Ahi Nazareth 3-2 as James Adeniyi’s brace helped take Nir Klinger’s squad into the next round while Maccabi Kabilyo Yaffo got by Adumim Ashdod 1-1 (4-2 on penalties) to move on in State Cup play.
Finally, Hapole Haifa got by Hapole Uhm AL Fahm 0-0 (5-4 on penalties) to send Elisha Levy’s team into the quarterfinals.