Late goals by Beitar Jerusalem’s Anthony Varen and Uri Magbo denied Maccabi Tel Aviv a third consecutive Toto Cup on Tuesday after a lacklustre final played in Netanya.

The match appeared heading for a penalty shootout to decide the winners as neither side managed to find a way to break down their opponents’ defences, coupled with some wayward finishing. 

Maccabi looked the dominant side in the first half and had more possession as the game was played at a fast pace, but the pre-game favourites who had won the trophy for the past two seasons and were going for a record seventh win could not find a way to break the deadlock.

Beitar picked up the pace a bit more in the second half but they too did not managed to threaten their opponents’ goal until substitute Varen slipped in between a defender and Maccabi goalkeeper Daniel Tannenbaum and connected with a cross from the right by Levi Garcia to slot the ball cheekily into the back of the net in the 87th minute. 

Maccabi were now desperate to force an equaliser but still could not find a way through and left their back line exposed, allowing Magbo, also a substitute, to find his way into the box and crunch the ball home in the 93rd minute.

The result is certain to inject great interest into Saturday’s TASE Premier League fixture as Beitar host Maccabi at Teddy Stadium on Saturday night.