‘10 ⚽️ 0-1 Hapoel Azur goal
‘39 ⚽️ 0-2 Hapoel Azur goal
‘42 ⚽️ 0-3 Hapoel Azur goal (penalty)
‘49 ⚽️ 1-3 Vlad Kart goal (penalty)
‘51 ⚽️ 2-3 Itay Kugel goal, Vlad Kart assist
‘63 ⚽️ 2-4 Hapoel Azur goal
‘77 ⚽️ 3-4 Vlad Kart goal, Max Mzhen assist
After beating fellow Liga Bet opposition Kiryat Ono 2-1 in the first qualifying round, we were next drawn away to Hapoel Azur, who we will also face in the league this season.
Unfortunately, the trip to Azur marked the end of our cup campaign, but a spirited second half performance will have given us lots of confidence despite the defeat and our opponents will be wary to play when we meet in the league.
A few last minute changes to the lineup saw first starts of the season for Sam Sank, Jeremy Tenenbaum and David Pernitchi for this tricky fixture away at a side who were playing in Liga Alef a couple of seasons ago.
Azur showed that experience, going three goals ahead in the first half but two of those were silly mistakes at the back, including giving away a penalty minutes before the break to give them a comfortable lead at half time.
However, the second half was a different story and the introductions of Gaston Hilman and Vlad Kart had an immediate impact, with the latter continuing his goalscoring form by scoring a penalty he himself won within 5 minutes of the half.
A quickfire second from Itay Kugel suddenly put us back in the game and an Evgeny Kart shot that hit the crossbar just after could have tied us level. Yet, Azur restored their two-goal advantage with a well worked team move on the hour mark.
We again showed our incredible resilience and never-say-die attitude with last season's golden boot winner Vlad scoring his second to keep us within touching distance.
The equaliser evaded us though, with Gianni Conti's last-gasp free kick not finding its way into the net. Nonetheless, the display from this team again showed the togetherness and brought confidence heading into the season opener this weekend.