SDThe latest round of games in the SportsDirect.com Olim League produced goals galore…

Ashdod 3 Raanana 6
Raanana continued their excellent start to the season with a fantastic comeback in Ashdod on Saturday night in what was a very exciting game.

Raanana got off to perfect start when with just four minutes on the clock, an excellent team move saw Hannani Corney get in behind the defence who pulled the ball back to Aviv Cohen who dispatched the ball into the net.

Raananna were in control of the game for the next 15 minutes when from nowhere a mix-up in the defence saw the ball drop to the Ashdod striker who hit the ball first time resulting in a unstoppable shot that flew into the net in off the post from 25 yards.

Almost immediately after conceding, Rannana gained a free-kick on the edge of the box when the impressive Avia Ben Meir beat two defenders before being hauled down on the edge of the box. Up stepped Hannani Corney who hit a perfectly placed free kick into the top left hand corner of the goal.

There were few further chances to either side until when the Ashdod striker broke free but seemed to be running away from goal. A needless challenge from the otherwise excellent Ronen Goldsmith saw the striker clipped from behind leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. The Ashdod centre back cooly stepped up to dispatch the penalty leaving the score at 2-2 going into half-time. Ashdod will have been much the happier team with the scoreline and Raanana were wondering how they were not winning.

However, the first 15 minutes of the second half were a completelydifferent story with Ashdod in the ascendancy from the whistle. After 55 minutes Ashdod deservedly took the lead with their striker getting in at the far post and placing a neat finish into the roof of the net. Minutes later Ashdod nearly extended the lead when a superb volley from the edge of the box crashed back off the bar. Rannana were stunned and there looked like only being one winner. A reshuffle saw Zeev Landsman move into central midfield alongside Aviv. Zeev got on the ball and started to control the game linking the play and starting the attacks. This led to a couple of chances and good saves from Aviv andAviad.

In the 70th minute, Raanana won a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Aviad unleashed a superb strike that whistled into the top corner to level the scores. A minute late,r Aviv was taken out in the area with a penalty given. Aviad scored the penalty and Raanana took the lead. The game was turned on its head in the space of a minute and Ashdod were stunned.

With five minutes remaining Guv Lebens was cynically taken out by the Ashdod midfielder on the edge of the box. Aviad appeared to put a cross into the box. The keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and it ended up in the corner of the net making the score 5-3. The icing was put on the cake in the final kick of the game when Haim Elimelech broke clear before playing in Aviad who placed the ball into the corner of the net to make it 6-3 as the final whistle was blown.

The scoreline does not reflect how close this game was which could have gone either way. Special mention to the referee who controlled the game extremely well and only awarded one card.

The next three weeks will provide a Raanana with a tough test with games versus England FC and the two Jerusalem teams.

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Jerusalem 7 Real Athletico Jerusalem 2

A fourmidable performance by Zack Lewis saw Jerusalem ease to a comprehensive win over their neighbours Real Athletico Jerusalem, in the Jerusalem el clasico.

Having played their solitary competitive game well over a month ago, last season’s runners up Jerusalem, found themselves in unfamiliar territory, going into the local derby in the bottom three, without so much as a practice session since narrowly losing to England FC on the opening weekend of the season. Real Athletico, came into the game as one of the form teams, annihilating Ashdod 9-2 in their own backyard, during Chol Hamoed Sukkot.

The opening 10 minutes saw Jerusalem edge the possession, with a couple of half chances, however both sides looked a little rusty and jaded. Against the run of play, Real Athletico took the lead courtesy of an own goal from Dan Kosky, who inadvertently turned Real Athletico’s first cross of the game into his own net. 1-0 Real Athletico, whilst under pressure from Jacky Duek.

Jerusalem almost bounced straight back, peppering the Real Athletico goal, doing everything but score. The best chances coming when Moishe Lewis rattled the bar, followed by Akiva Zneimer having a 25-yard effort turned round the post.

Jerusalem finally got back on level terms when Gav Cohen showed some great individual skill, going past three defenders, before shooting a low shot that took a deflection off Dekel Itach, on it’s way in. Jerusalem had a couple of half chances, but both sides went into half-time with one goal a-piece, with Real Athletico yet to bring out a save from Daniel Boerstra. At half-time, Jerusalem’s Danny Newman made a couple of tactical changes, and within 3 minutes of the re-start Jerusalem deservedly took the lead, and never looked back.

A great move between Mordy Weiler and Zack Lewis ended with Gav Cohen being released on goal, and he made no mistake to give Jerusalem a 2-1 lead. It was three in the 52nd minute as Zack Lewis hit the top right- hand corner from the edge of the area, with a sublime effort. Five minutes later, Zack got his second, when Weiler put him through with a superb pass. 4-1 and Jerusalem were cruising.

Real Athletico were thrown a semi lifeline on the hour, when they reduced the deficit. Jerusalem took their eye off the ball, and Real Athletico took advantage. A shot rebounded into the path of  ‘TJ’ Olatunji Ogunshemi, who whilst looking like he may have been in an offside position, played to the whistle, and put the ball in the net. 4-2.

The goal knocked the sting out of Jerusalem’s tail, and the next 10 minutes were very flat. However, Jerusalem got their act together once again, with Moishe Lewis capitalising on a defensive error to muscle his way through and slot past the keeper. 5-2.

As the game entered the last 10 minutes, Jerusalem turned on the style, with two further quality goals from Zack Lewis to take his personal tally to four, and top off a memorable 7-2 victory, that starts to propel Jerusalem back up the table, leapfrogging their opposition in the process.

Jerusalem’s joint manager, Danny Newman commended his players on a great result. He said: “Despite looking a little rusty after six weeks without a fixture over the Chaggim preiod, we didn’t do too much wrong in the first half. However, the cobwebs came off at half-time, and once we got into our stride, we were a completely different side. I can’t fault any of the players tonight, they were all immense. Credit to Real Athletico. They have a decent side, and should do well this year, but no one in the league would have been able to stop our 2nd half performance. Everything just seemed to click.

Next week is a new game, and we travel to one of the league’s new teams, Rainball Tel Aviv, with a depleted side, due to a few injuries we picked up as well as imminent births. As such, we can expect a very tough challenge, with a stretched squad.”

Jerusalem:
Daniel Boerstra, Danny Sigal, Dan Kosky, Eyal Toledo, David Preston, Akiva Zneimer, Lollu Hibbert, Gav Cohen, Mordy Weiler, Zack Lewis, Moishe Lewis. Subs: Eli Warner, Solomon Emeke Eza, Gav Krieger, Yehuda Korman

Goals:
Dekel Itach o.g. (29), Gav Cohen (48), Zack Lewis (52, 58, 84, 88), Moishe Lewis (73)

Real Athletico Jerusalem:
Aron Alani, Nati Hasan, Gigi Garbin, Ben Russo, ‘TJ’ Olatunji Ogunshemi, Carlos Mazzini, Eden Sharma, Dekel Itach, Tzach Cohen, Meni Duek, Jacky Duek.
Subs: Majdi Zayd, Mario Gayan, Andres Gayan, Shlomi Eisenmann

Goals:
Dan Kosky o.g. (10), TJ (61)

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Jaffa 5 Modiin 1

A good, fair game between two teams that are looking to improve on last seasons achievements.

With both teams missing key players due to injuries and suspensions it could have gone anyway. The first 20 minutes were pretty tight but eventually Jaffa took control- firstly through a class Rani Madmon free-kick and a few minutes later, Mcafrey headed home a corner to make it 2-0 at half-time.

The second half started in similar fashion with Daniel Berkeley tapping in for a third Jaffa goal. Modiin then got one back and the game seemed to be poised at a crucial point – could Modiin create momentum and get right back in, or would Jaffa manage to recollect and hold on. It was Jaffa who finally managed to score again, twice. Conor Myers got his first Jaffa goal and Rani Madmon scored a cracker towards the end, charging half way across the pitch all the way into the Modiin box, and score. 5-1 on the night, Jafa will br delighted, Modiin would look to bounce back.