TEL AVIV, May 15 (Reuters) - Hapoel Tel Aviv captured Israel’s State Cup for a third consecutive season on Tuesday, beating Maccabi Haifa 2-1 through an injury-time winner from Nigerian striker Nosa Igiebor.
The win capped a turbulent season for Hapoel who, despite finishing as league runners-up to outsiders Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, showed inconsistent form which was not helped by tension between club owner Eli Tabib and some players and fans.
Hapoel’s hat trick of cups was a repeat of the feat they achieved between 1937-39, before the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. It was their 15th cup and a repeat of last season’s final, when they beat Haifa 1-0.
Haifa missed out on a spot in Europe by finishing fifth in the league, their first absence from continental competition for four seasons.
Hapoel went ahead in the 58th minute after a defensive error by Haifa allowed Croatian midfielder Mirko Oremus to shoot low past diving keeper Nir Davidovich.
Haifa equalised in the 62nd when substitute Dele Yampolsky rose to head the ball over Hapoel’s Cameroon-born Armenian goalkeeper Edel Apoula.
Hapoel capitalised on another Haifa lapse late in the match when Igiebor ran into the area to slot the ball past Davidovich. (Editing by Clare Fallon)