May 12, 2012 / 9:56 PM / in 6 years

Soccer-Maccabi Petah Tikva relegated in Israel

JERUSALEM, May 12 (Reuters) - Maccabi Petah Tikva were relegated along with Hapoel Rishon Lezion and Hapoel Petah Tikva on a tense final day in the Israeli Premier League on Saturday.

A 0-0 draw for Maccabi Petah Tikva at home to Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon could not save the hosts from the drop as rivals Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Beer Sheva both won.

At the top of the table, Hapoel Tel Aviv finished second behind champions Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona.

Tel Aviv and third-placed Bnei Yehuda go through to the qualifying rounds of next season’s Europa League.

Fourth-placed Maccabi Netanya will take the third Europa League spot unless Maccabi Haifa, in fifth, win Tuesday’s State Cup final against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Only one club will be promoted because the Premier League is being reduced from 16 to 14 clubs next season.

Hapoel Lod or Hapoel Ramat Gan, who ended the season level on points, will meet in a second division playoff next week to determine who goes up. (Writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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