Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C.
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|Full name||Hapoel Petah Tikva Football Club|
|Ground||HaMoshava Stadium, Petah Tikva|
|Chairman||Doron Ben Dakon|
|League||Israeli Premier League|
|2013–14||Liga Leumit, 2nd (promoted)|
Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C. (Hebrew: הַפּוֹעֵל פֶּתַח תִּקְוָה) is an Israeli football club based in the city of Petah Tikva. Their most successful period was the late 1950s and early 1960s, in which the club won six championships, five of them in consecutive seasons. Although they have not won the title since 1963, Hapoel still hold the record for the number of back-to-back titles. The club's last piece of major silverware came in 2005 when they won the Toto Cup, and of all the clubs to have won the State Cup, Hapoel have the worst record in the finals, having won on only two of their nine appearances in the final.
The club was established in 1934. In 1945 they reached the cup final, but lost 1-0 to Hapoel Tel Aviv in a final that was abandoned after 89 minutes due to a Petah Tikva player refusing to leave the field after being sent off for insulting the referee. That year's tournament, known as the "War Cup" and boycotted by Beitar-affiliated clubs, is not recognised by the Israel Football Association.
In the 1954-55 season the club won their first championship, but missed out on doing the double when they lost the cup final 3-1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv. They finished second for the next three seasons, winning the cup for the first time in 1957 (beating Maccabi Jaffa 2-1), before winning the title again in 1958-59. They retained the title in 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62 and 1962-63, setting a record for the number of consecutive championships (the next best is three, achieved by Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa). In both 1959 and 1960 the club also reached the cup final, but lost on both occasions, 4-3 to Maccabi Tel Aviv and 2-1 to Hapoel Tel Aviv respectively.
At the end of the 1975-76 season the club were relegated for the first time in their history, and dropped into Liga Artzit. They returned to the top flight in 1978, but were relegated again at the end of the 1981-82 season, in which they finished bottom of the table with only three wins from 30 matches. The club returned to Liga Leumit in 1984. In 1986 they won the Toto Cup for the first time.
Despite a two point deduction for breaking budget rules, Hapoel finished second in 1988-89 and qualified for the Intertoto Cup. They also finished as runners-up in 1989-90 and 1990-91, winning the Toto Cup in both seasons. In the latter they also reached the State Cup final, but lost 3-1 to Maccabi Haifa. The following year the club also reached the final, this time winning, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-1 after extra time, qualifying for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
In their first season in Europe, Hapoel beat Strømsgodset 4-0 on aggregate in the first qualifying round, before losing on away goals to Feyenoord. Domestically, Hapoel struggled during the 1992-93 season, finishing second from bottom, only avoiding relegation after beating Maccabi Jaffa in a play-off.
In 1996-97 Hapoel finished second, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. After beating Flora Tallinn and Vejle in the qualifying rounds they were knocked out by Rapid Vienna. In 2005 they won the Toto Cup for a record fourth time (the record has since been equalled by Maccabi Haifa).
In 2006-07 the club finished bottom of the Israeli Premier League (which had replaced Liga Leumit as the top division), and were relegated. However, they made an immediate return to the top division after finishing as runners-up in the second tier, also winning the Liga Leumit Toto Cup.
- As of 5 November 2014
- Israeli championships
- Winners (6): 1955, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63
- Runners-up (9): 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1964–65, 1966–68, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1996–97
- State Cup
- Winners (2): 1957, 1992
- Runners-up (6): 1955, 1959, 1961, 1968, 1974, 1991
- Israeli Supercup
- Winners (1): 1962
- Runners-up (1): 1957
- Toto Cup
- Winners (4): 1986, 1990, 1991, 2005
- Toto Cup Leumit
- Winners (1): 2007
- Second Division