England FC rounded off a superb second half of the season as they produced a commanding performance to beat Inter Tel Aviv 2-0 in the Olim Cup Final.
The final kicked-off just as proceedings at Wembley were drawing to a close, with almost as much English talent on show. England FC were bolstered by the return to midfield of Motti Colman, while Inter were missing their dominant center-back and captain, Sam Sank.
With both teams set-up in similar 4-3-3 formations, the first half was plagued by nerves on both sides. England dominated possession but failed to make it count. Inter were finding it hard to penetrate the strong England midfield and defense, led by Yoni Sidi and Tommer Zaban, who along with the rest of the England back five, completed their cup run without conceding a single goal. The best chance of the half fell to Zac White, but his aerial volley from a cross by right-back Yonni Shelmerdine, was just off-target.
The start of the second half saw England pick up where they left off. Yuval Rupin, playing his last match for England FC, came on at left-back. Despite Inter’s Ayerton causing the England midfield quite a bit of trouble, most of Inter’s attacks ended up in long balls that, in light of the current form of the England defense, caused little disturbance.
As the game drew on, England started piling on the pressure. Motti Colman was denied by an incredible goal-line stop after some lovely movement inside the Inter box. Before long, England finally made their possession count. Some nice built up play saw Shelmerdine thread a great ball into new boy Louis Libbert, who finished with aplomb and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
England didn’t stop there and just after the 80th minute, another great move started by Colman and ended with a selfless cross from Shelmerdine, leaving Zac White with a simple tap-in to double their advantage.
With the game drawing to a close, emotions were running high. A rush of blood to the head saw the Inter keeper being sent off after taking a swing at Tommer Zaban. In injury time, the England goalkeeper made his first real save of the match to deny a great header from the Inter striker. As the whistle was blown, the England players ran to celebrate with their small but loyal group of fans.
Terry Newman, the delighted England FC manager, commented: “what a remarkable achievement from a remarkable bunch of boys. We have turned around the season and finished with two pieces of silverware. Next season we will be aiming for the league also.”
The win saw England add another trophy to their cabinet after returning the Pesach Cup to Israel.