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Five-star Hapoel ease past Rapid

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC 5-1 SK Rapid Wien
Hapoel boosted their hopes of qualifying from Group C and dented Rapid's following the biggest victory in the club's European history.

Etey Shechter (right) celebrates scoring Hapoel's third goal
Etey Shechter (right) celebrates scoring Hapoel's third goal ©Getty Images

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC moved into qualifying contention in UEFA Europa League Group C at the expense of SK Rapid Wien by registering the biggest victory in the club's European history.

Second-half turnaround
A fortuitous free-kick from Steffen Hofmann quickly cancelled out Andreas Dober's own goal for the visitors on the half-hour mark of an evenly-matched first period. After the break, however, the hosts took control and struck four times without reply through Zurab Menteshashvili, Etey Shechter, Gil Vermouth and substitute Maaran Lala, sealing an impressive victory which lifts the Israeli outfit second behind Hamburger SV.

Shechter setup
The game began at a pace and Nikica Jelavić had already struck the post when the sides traded two goals in a minute. First Shechter showed pace and persistence to dart past two Rapid players on the right and deliver a low cross which was deflected in by Dober. The celebrations had barely subsided when the visitors − top of Group C at the start of play − equalised through Hofmann, whose floated free-kick into the penalty area deceived everyone and bounced past Vincent Enyeama. Set-pieces were causing problems at both ends and barely 60 seconds later Douglas da Silva headed Bebars Natcho's free-kick straight at Helge Payer, while Jelavić struck the same post as he had earlier, climbing highest to meet another Hofmann free-kick.

Ferocious strike
The second half started as the first had ended, Menteshashvili restoring Hapoel's lead on 54 minutes with a ferocious half-volley from 30 metres after the Rapid defence cleared a corner only as far as the loitering Georgian. Shechter gave the Israeli outfit a two-goal cushion five minutes later when he drilled through the legs of Ragnvald Soma before Vermouth made the points safe by turning in Dedi Ben Dayan's cutback. Vermouth turned provider in added time, squaring for Lala to make it five.