Maccabi's U19s beat Hapoel Haifa for the third time this season, this time to book a place in the State Cup quarter finals

Just a week after U19 Premier league leaders Maccabi Tel Aviv "Shachar" overwhelmed Hapoel Haifa 0-7 at their Kiryat Haim training ground for their seventh consecutive league win, the in-form Under-19s welcomed their northern opponents to Kiryat Shalom training ground for a State Cup tie offering a ticket to the quarter finals of the competition. And their convincing 5-0 victory, the third over Hapoel Haifa this season, more than amply demonstrated that where "Shachar" are concerned, form is form, whether it's the league or the Cup.

"Shachar"'s determination to maintain that form showed from the very opening moments of the match as they advanced on the Haifa goal without hesitation. Striker Mavis Tchibota claimed first honours with a good chance early on, but it was his fellow attacker Raz Itzhak who drew first blood by pouncing on a rebound from a shot by midfielder Gabriel Kanikowski and putting his side ahead 1-0. Striker Yonatan Cohen nearly doubled the advantage with a dangerous free kick, but shortly thereafter facilitated Maccabi's second with a corner that Mavis Tchibota headed on to midfielder Sohil Armeli, who shot into an open net to put the home side 2-0 up at the half.

Midfielder Matan Hozez, who last week also came in off the bench in the second half and scored a hat-trick, was first to try his luck after the break but missed narrowly. First-half goalscorer Sohil Armeli had better luck on 70 minutes, crowning a splendid personal effort with a winner from an acute angle that put "Shachar" 3-0 to the good. Six minutes later Armeli turned provider, sending the league's leading goalscorer Yonatan Cohen through to widen Maccabi's lead to 4-0. Only the Haifa goalkeeper and a last-minute clearance off the line prevented substitute striker Dor Galili from twice converting scoring opportunities into Maccabi's fifth, but in the match's dying moment Yonatan Cohen netted his second to round off the scoring at 5-0, a result that convincingly sends "Shachar" through to the quarter finals of the competition.

Next week, Maccabi Tel Aviv "Shachar" will return to league duties, hosting the derby against municipal archrivals Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Photographs: Chen Sedders