Hapoel Tel Aviv's Edi Gotlieb sent off for striking pitch invader

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Let's face it. Invading the pitch at a football match these days isn't the best of ideas.

Fans that encroach on the playing area will, at the very least, face a period in police custody - and can often be hit with a considerable fine.

That's usually as far as it goes, though. However, one supporter at an Israeli Premier League game this weekend got far more than he bargained for when he decided to trespass on to the field of play.

With just a few minutes of added time left in the clash between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday, a Hapoel fan ran on the pitch and struck one of his own side's players.

Right winger Raz Twizer was targeted by the fan, who carried on sprinting around the pitch after throwing the blow.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

As stadium security struggled to keep pace with the offender, Hapoel defender Edi Gotlieb decided to take matters into his own hands. Just as the fan approached him, Gotlieb defended himself by getting the first shot in on the pitch invader, knocking him to the floor - allowing stewards time to get the situation under control.

Home fans roared their approval for Gotlieb's actions. Unfortunately, for the player himself, match officials didn't appreciate his conduct at all.

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After a brief VAR review, Gotlieb was given his marching orders by match referee Idan Layba - much to the disbelief of the entire Hapoel camp. 

You can check out the incident below.

Given the circumstances, it's hard not to feel for Gotlieb - especially as it looks as though he will still have to serve the ban attached to the red card, despite the Israeli FA subsequently stating that they disagree with the referee's decision.

At present, there is no system in place within the league's rules to rescind red cards, so barring a change in protocol, Gotlieb's act of self-defence will see him miss action for his side. Crazy stuff!

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