At least two second-division teams will battle in the quarterfinal of the State Cup, but the third division's Beitar Kfar Sava progress in the competition has been dashed in cruel fashion.
Kfar Sava, which beat the Premier League's Rishon Letzion in the previous round, lost 1-0 at home to Ironi Ramat Hasharon. Israeli under-21 international Tomer Swisa scored the winning goal three minutes into the second half.
The two second-division teams that booked their place in the quarterfinal are Maccabi Herzliya and Hapoel Upper Nazareth.
Herzliya defeated home side Hapoel Be'er Sheva of the Premier League on penalties, after the teams ended 120 minutes of soccer tied at 1-1. In the shoot-out, the visiting team scored all five of its penalties.
Nazareth, which is languishing in the relegation zone of the second division, overcame the runaway leader of the same division, Hapoel Ramat Gan, in the most exciting game of the evening. Ahmed Da'eb gave Nazareth the lead after 10 minutes, before strikes from Lior Asulin and Ofir Hemo gave Ramat Gan a 2-1 lead at half-time.
Nigerian striker Emmanuel Okechukwu leveled the score three minutes after the restart and Nazareth went ahead in the 69th thanks to a stunning 45-meter strike from Niv Derey. Sharon Levi rounded off the scoring in injury time.
Ashdod SC was forced to come from a goal down at half-time to defeat Maccabi Umm al-Fahm of the second division 3-1. Tamer Tatuer gave the visitors a shock lead in the 37th minute, but Ashdod came out with all guns blazing in the second half. Two goals from Idan Shriki and one from Zambian winger Rodgers Kola were enough to see the Premier League team advance.
In the night's final game, Premier League Maccabi Petah Tikva needed an extra-time winner from Victor Merey to eliminate Hapoel Jerusalem of the second division.
Two more lower-tier teams - Bnei Lod and Hapoel Kfar Sava - could join Maccabi Herzliya and Hapoel Upper Nazareth in the quarterfinal tonight, but to do so they will have to defeat Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa respectively.
Tonight's third and final game is an all-Premier League affair, with runaway Premier League leader Ironi Kiryat Shmona hosting Maccabi Netanya.
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