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Last-gasp Hapoel snatch title from Haifa

Published: Saturday 15 May 2010, 22.13CET
Eran Zehavi scored a last-minute winner against Beitar Jerusalem FC to give Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC the Israeli Premier League in dramatic fashion after Maccabi Haifa FC could only draw.
by Ofer Ronen-Abels
Last-gasp Hapoel snatch title from Haifa
Etey Schecter lifts the Israeli Premier League trophy for Hapoel ©Yoed Cohen, YNET
Published: Saturday 15 May 2010, 22.13CET

Last-gasp Hapoel snatch title from Haifa

Eran Zehavi scored a last-minute winner against Beitar Jerusalem FC to give Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC the Israeli Premier League in dramatic fashion after Maccabi Haifa FC could only draw.

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC won the Israeli Premier League title in dramatic fashion after a late 2-1 away win against Beitar Jerusalem FC allowed them to leapfrog Maccabi Haifa FC, who could only draw 1-1 with Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv FC.

Eran Zehavi struck in the final minute for Hapoel, who added the championship to the State Cup they won in midweek against Bnei Yehuda. With both games deadlocked at 1-1 going into the final minutes of the season, Haifa were on the verge of retaining their crown. However, Zahavi's effort put Hapoel – who were down to ten men from the 29th minute – on  to the same points' total as their rivals with their superior goal difference sealing the club's 13th league title and fourth double.

Hapoel captain Walid Badir, who at the age of 36 was celebrating the double for the first time, said: "We kept believing that we could cancel out Haifa's two-point lead and I am delighted we managed to do that." Hapoel coach Eli Gutman could not hide his emotions after his side's late intervention. "I have never cried because of football and this is the first time," he said. "It's been a massive burst of emotions and this bunch of players deserve all the credit in the world."

Last updated: 15/05/10 23.16CET

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