Veteran Maccabi Haifa FC defender Alon Harazi set an Israeli record of 520 top-flight appearances when he came on as a substitute in the 2-1 Ligat Ha'Al victory against Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC on Saturday.
The 38-year-old, who made his league debut for Haifa in 1990, broke the record held jointly by former Shimshon Tel-Aviv FC striker Gideon Damti and ex-Haifa goalkeeper Rafi Cohen. Harazi was given a standing ovation by home supporters when he came on for the final 20 minutes of the win which kept Haifa top of the table, two points above Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC. The versatile defender has spent all but one season of his career at Haifa, winning the league with Beitar Jerusalem FC in 1998.
"It was an amazing reception and a great experience," said Harazi, who is also second on the all-time list of caps for Israel, five behind Arik Benado's haul of 94. "I would like to thank the fans and all those I have played with throughout my career. This is an amazing achievement." With Haifa topping the standings and in the semi-finals of the State Cup, Harazi may well add to his seven league titles and three cup triumphs with the club.
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