England FC booked their place in the final of the Olim Cup Final as they ended Ra’anana’s dreams of landing a league and cup double.
Champions Ra’anana were massive favourites pre-match with leading scorer in Aviad and local u19 star Gabby leading the line. They were confident going into the game despite losing the last game between the two. England have been on a great run of form of late but missing some key players made their task even harder. The England defence was in excellent form on the night, led by Yoni Sidi and Tomer Zaban, not allowing Rannana any chances in the first half much to the frustration of the ever vocal bench who were trying to claim any and every decision possible. The first half’s best chance fell in the end to England forward Chad Waldman who was played in by Zac White but scuffed his chance wide.
England got more into the game in the second half, playing smoothly and increasingly frustrate the champions who had the chance of the game on 80 minutes when at last the two super strikers were able to combine for the first time and a great square ball from Gabby left Aviad with a tap in from three yards that he som how managed to put over the bar. With the score goalless, the game headed to the dreaded penalty kicks.
England had already won the Pesach Cup this season from the white spot and put away all their kicks with some heroic saves from Roy Meron, who managed to save two out of the four which meant England were heading to the final.
England captain Tal Stern said: “Our boys put in an immense shift today from back to front, and deserved to win for the heart they showed. A special mention to our two lions at the heart of defence and our Keeper Roy who was the hero of the shoot out. I rate him as the best Goalkeeper in this league.
“We put down a real marker for next season with back-to-back wins over Raanana who we fully expect will continue pushing for honours next season. But our main focus is now on Inter and the Cup Final – we want to bring that Cup home!”
England face Inter in this weekends final.