Maccabi P-T downs Hapoel TLV, Ashdod blanks Hapoel P-T, Netanya blanks Sakhnin as Toto Cup placement games set

Aug 12, 2023 | Football

Maccabi Petach Tikva blanked struggling Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-0 thanks to a pair of late goals to finish in first place in Group B of the Toto Cup and advance to the next stage of the competition where they will play Maccabi Haifa in the semifinals. The second semifinal will pit Maccabi Tel Aviv against Bnei Sakhnin with both games slated to be played between August 19-21. Hapoel Tel Aviv will play Hapoel Hadera in the 11-12 place game.

After a goalless first half, Ben Sahar slammed home a cross off the right side to take a 1-0 lead in the 85th minute and just one minute later Anas Mahmid polished off a perfect Tal Ben Chaim pass on a break down the pitch to record the win.

“We really wanted to get to the semifinals as it’s financially lucrative,” Maccabi Petach Tikva head coach Benny Lam began. “We had a very good game and we kept Hapoel Tel Aviv out of our end for the opening thirty minutes. We have some high quality players with experience who scored late and put away the game.”

“We have forgotten that this is the Toto Cup and preparation for the season,” Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Michael Valkanis began. “We have to evaluate the reality of the situation with the lineup and we have players that are out. If I am going to evaluate is the first 75 minutes and then we gave younger players the opportunity. We have a lot of experienced players who haven’t yet played.”

Ashdod defeated Hapoel Petach Tikva 1-0 as Yakov Brihen scored the lone goal of the match to give the port city side the win and the 3-points. Ashdod will now ready for Hapoel Haifa for the 9-10 place matchup as Petah Tikva will play Bnei Reineh in the 13-14 game.

“We took the lead in the first half but we should have conceded three goals,” Ashdod coach Eli Levy said. “We didn’t play well enough and we can’t allow these types of chances to happen. We ended up playing much better in the second half and we were able to put our house in order and take the win. Every win gives us more confidence.”

“We still have some players who have yet been able to play due to not passing the budget control committee,” Hapoel Petach Tikva coach Ofer Tesselpepe said. “We still have plenty not work to do. We have been together for some time and we have had some injuries and bad luck, but that is part of the journey.”

Maccabi Netanya eased by Bnei Sakhnin 3-0 as three different goals scorers found the back of the net at Doha Stadium in the Galilee. Ahmed Salman opened the scoring in the 38th minute having come on just minutes earlier due to an injury to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break, Boris Enow doubled the advantage with a left footed scorcher from 25 meters out while Bar Cohen also scored from indie the box to finish off the victory. Next up for Netanya will be the 7-8 place game against Hapoel Beer Sheva while Sakhnin will ready for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the semifinals.

“It was important for us to win,” Netanya coach Ron Kozuk began. “After a number of poor performances I said that we had a good team. We have to continue to come together as a team and that our younger players are consistent with not too many ups or downs. We have solid team that is deep and we need to continue to play as we did in this game.”

Maccabi Netanya wanted to win more than we did,” Sahknin assistant coach Salach Hasamra said. “We came into this game knowing that we had already advanced to the semifinals and while we wanted to plat well sometimes it just does’t work out that way. We have some talented young players who are able to do the job for us.”

Hapoel Hadera and Maccabi Bnei Reineh played to a 1-1 draw as both markers were ruled as own goals with Orel Baye being charged for one and Abdallah Jaber the other as the two squads split the points. Hadera will now play Hapoel Tel Aviv in the 11-12 place game as Reineh will take on Hapoel Petah Tikva for 13-14 place.

“We didn’t play well and while the weather was not great it’s not an excuse,” Hadera coach Niso Avitan said. “We had to take advantage of our opportunities when we had them and we couldn’t do that. We had some injuries as well which didn’t help our effort but we were also able to see some of the other players get a chance to play.”

“It wasn’t an easy game but we made it through without an injury which was key,” Sharon Mimer, Reineh’s coach commented. “The Toto Cup is to learn about our team and to use it as a testing ground for the regular season that begins in less than two weeks.”

The 5-6 place game will be a Jerusalem derby as Hapoel will host Beitar.

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