Soccer / Premier League / Hapoel Tel Aviv's last-second equalizer caps six-goal thriller against Netanya
Pandemonium descended on Bloomfield Stadium in Jaffa, the site of a 3-3 draw between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Netanya, last night without prior notice. For over 70 minutes, the entire stadium thought the encounter would end in a scoreless draw. However in the last 20 minutes, both teams provided more thrills than other sides could muster in an entire season. It was soccer that bordered on craziness.
Naturally, the focus for Reds fans was on the team's newest acquisition, Daniel de Ridder. His every touch of the ball elicited a buzz from the crowd in anticipation that the Dutch midfielder could produce some magic.
In the 71st minute, defender Omri Ben Harush made his coach proud, heading in a lob from Shalev Menashe to give Netanya the lead. Six minutes later, Hapoel goalkeeper Neal Abarbanel failed to corral a harmless shot, allowing Netanya forward Achmad Saba'a to capitalize from close range for a 2-0 lead. Then in the 81st minute, Saba'a took a pass from midfielder Ravid Gazal and converted his second goal of the match.
The visitors were seemingly in control, with a three-goal advantage and less than nine minutes remaining.
It was only in the 83rd minute that Hapoel awoke from its slumber. Vermouth cut the deficit to two after sneaking one past goalkeeper Daniel Lifshitz from close range. Then in the 89th minute, Hapoel's Victor Merey was tripped inside the box, earning his side a penalty kick. Vermouth's soft offering was cast aside by Lifshitz, yet Hapoel scrambled to regain possession and captain Walid Badir's header cut Netanya's advantage to 3-2 going into injury time.
Hapoel pressed for the draw, but was twice denied at the goal line by Netanya defenders. Then, in the seventh and last minute of added time, Vermouth blasted a missile into the yawning net to earn the hosts a point.
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