Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. 1–0 Maccabi Haifa F.C. (1986)
|Event||1985–86 Liga Leumit|
|Date||24 May 1986|
|Venue||Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv|
On 24 May 1986, Hapoel Tel Aviv came face-to-face with Maccabi Haifa in a Liga Leumit fixture at Bloomfield Stadium, during the final rounds of the 1985–86 season. That match was the season's deciding match. Maccabi Haifa led by one point prior to the match. Hapoel Tel Aviv won with one goal scored at the 86th minute by striker, Gili Landau, winning the match and the championship.
At the beginning of the 1985–86 season, 16 football (soccer) clubs competed in the Liga Leumit, which was the top division at that time in Israel. Maccabi Haifa, which won the two previous league championships took early charge of the league, leading by five points at the 9th round. However, a rather poor string of results saw Hapoel Tel Aviv overtake Maccabi Haifa, taking a five-point lead at the top at the 19th round. At the 24th round, Maccabi Haifa was back on top, with 46 points and a two-point lead over Hapoel Tel Aviv, with Maccabi Tel Aviv also in the running, just points away. After the 29th round, with one match left to play, Maccabi Haifa led the table with 57 points. Hapoel Tel Aviv was second with 56 points. The two teams were to meet in the last round for a match that would decide the championship.
|2||Hapoel Tel Aviv||29||16||8||5||51||26||+25||56|
|3||Maccabi Tel Aviv||29||15||9||5||42||24||+18||54|
Maccabi Haifa was a point away from claiming their third straight championship, while Hapoel Tel Aviv needed to win their tenth championship. Due to the importance of the match, the IBA decided to broadcast the match live, the first ever live broadcast of a league match in Israel.
With 20,000 fans in the stands, Maccabi Haifa sought to stall the match to force a 0-0 draw, which would allow them to win the championship. The first shot on goal was made by Zahi Armeli of Maccabi Haifa at the 24th minute, while Moris Zano of Hapoel registered their first shot at the 32nd minute. Early in the second half, Hapoel manager David Schweitzer substituted midfielders Jacob Cohen and Elior Baranes with strikers Gili Landau and Eli Yani, and Hapoel increased their attacks. At the 86th minute, Eli Cohen passed the ball to Moshe Sinai in midfield. Sinai lobbed the ball over the Maccabi Haifa defense towards the rushing Landau, while at the far left side of the defense, Eli Yani was running back from an offside position. Referee Zvi Sharir allowed the play to continue and Landau struck the ball over the Maccabi Haifa goalkeeper Avi Ran to break the deadlock. Eli Cohen was sent off for a tackle made on Rafi Osmo, but the score did not change. Hapoel Tel Aviv won the championship with a one-point lead.
|Hapoel Tel Aviv||1–0||Maccabi Haifa|
Hapoel Tel Aviv
While Hapoel Tel Aviv celebrated their championship, Maccabi Haifa sounded claims against the validity of the winning goal, pointing to Eli Yani's offside position during the final pass. Referee Zvi Sharir defended his decision, stating that Eli Yani was in a "passive offside".
- Maccabi Haifa: Yadin Will Start Against Hapoel T.A. David Natan, 21 October 2012, Ynet (in Hebrew)
- Match of the Season – In a Live Broadcast on Television Ma'ariv, 23 May 1986, p. 1 Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
- Five Minutes to Glory and Disappointment Ma'ariv, 25 May 1986, p. 27 & 28 Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
- Scharf: We'll Haunt Sharir Everywhere; Yelled at His Players: "You Made a Laughing Stock of Yourselves, You Played Like Suckers Yehonatan Haleli, 25 May 1985, Ma'ariv, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
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