Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C.
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|Full name||Hapoel Petah Tikva Football Club|
|Ground||HaMoshava Stadium, Petah Tikva|
|2015–16||Liga Leumit, 6th|
Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C. (Hebrew: הפועל פתח תקווה) 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, which was known as the "War Cup" and was boycotted by Beitar-affiliated clubs, was not recognised by the Israel Football Association until recently. Nowadays, the IFA recognize this cup edition (along with the 1943 Palestine Cup) as part of the competition's history.
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 after 23 successive seasons at the top flight. However, they made an immediate return to the top division after finishing as runners-up in the 2007–08 Liga Leumit, also winning the Liga Leumit Toto Cup.
- As of 22 October 2016
|Israeli Championships||6||1954–55, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63|
|State Cup||2||1956–57, 1991–92|
|Toto Cup (top division)||4||1985–86, 1989–90, 1990–91, 2004–05|
|Toto Cup (second division)||1||2007–08|
|20th Anniversary Cup||1||1968|