Ra’anana and Betar reach Toto final

By Danny Caro, January 14, 2010

Hapoel Ra’anana will face Betar Jerusalem in the final of Israel’s Toto Cup.

Ra’anana pulled off a major shock on Wednesday night, defeating league leaders Maccabi Haifa 3-2 at the Ramat Gan National Stadium.

They did it the hard way, coming from behind after Mohammad Ghadir had put last season’s league champions ahead. But a 45th minute penalty from Itai Tuef saw them go in level at the break.

Lior Rafaelov restored Haifa’s advantage on the hour but they held the lead for just two minutes as Ra’anana’s Davit Dighmelashvili equalised.

Supersub Raz Cohen hit the winner 16 minutes from time to give the underdogs a famous victory.

Ra’anana coach Eli Cohen said: “We played well and I'm happy with our performance just as much as I am with the win. We deserved the victory."

Haifa boss Elisha Levy commented: “We should have known how to win this match, but Ra'anana deserves all the credit."

Betar booked their place in the final courtesy of a strike from Israel international Toto Tamuz which accounted for holders Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Last updated: 4:13pm, January 14 2010