PREVIEW: KIRYAT SHMONA - M. HAIFA
ANDY SCHREUR - Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Bryan Gerzicich and Kiryat Shmona travel to the National Stadium for the match against favorite Maccabi Haifa in the State Cup semifinals for their only chance at a trophy this season.
The Blue Lions have struggled since the beginning of the Israeli Playoffs with only one win thus far. They beat Bnei Sakhnin 3-1 to advance to the semifinals on March 12. About 3,000 Kiryat Shmona fans will travel south to Ramat Gan for the match and will look to bolster their team's struggling offense and book a place in the finals.
Haifa is the hottest team in Israel right now, having only lost one match in all competitions since December 2 and have rocketed up the league standings into second place in the league. Haifa easily defeated Beitar Jerusalem 3-0 to book their place in the semifinal matchup with Kiryat Shmona.
The other semifinal sees surprising Hapoel Ironi Rishon Lezion, a second division team face off against Ramat Gan in the first of a doubleheader at the National Stadium. Rishon Lezion shocked Hapoel Tel Aviv in the quarterfinals to move into the semis. Ramat Gan are the heavy favorites to move into the Cup final, which will be held on May 8.
The Blue Lions will face a quick turnaround after Wednesday's Cup match as they face Hapoel Tel Aviv on Friday in a return to league playoffs.