Rade Prica struck a final hat-trick as Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC ended a ten-year wait to lift the Israeli Cup in emphatic style, completing a first double since 1995/96.
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Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC have completed the domestic double after ending a ten-year wait to lift the Israeli Cup with an emphatic victory over ten-man Hapoel Beer Sheva FC.
Just three days after retaining the Israeli championship, Maccabi overwhelmed Hapoel Beer Sheva 6-2 at the Haifa International Stadium to secure their first league and cup double since 1995/96.
In front of 32,000 fans, Rade Prica struck a hat-trick as Maccabi claimed their 23rd cup triumph in style. A defensive mix-up by Hapoel led to Prica's first midway through the opening half. Seven minutes later Yoav Ziv doubled the advantage though a fine solo effort from Ovidiu Hoban before the break gave Hapoel Beer Sheva hope.
The Yellows started the second half brightly and were rewarded for their endeavour immediately. Just two minutes after the restart Prica restored their two-goal lead and five minutes later he completed his treble.
A wonder goal from Maor Buzaglo made it 4-2, but Francisco Ayestarán's charges responded immediately with Eran Zahavi's cool finish following Prica's through ball. Maaran Radi's late effort from distance sealed a historic night for Maccabi.
"Before the game I said to my players that it's never easy to achieve goals but they are professionals," said Maccabi coach Ayestarán. "I told them I enjoyed this journey and thanked them. We should be proud of what we achieved – It's time to celebrate."