The latest round of Olim League action saw Jerusalem win a five-goal thriller, while England FC made it into the last four of the Cup…
Jerusalem 3 Modiin 2
Jerusalem leap-frogged Modi’in into third place in the league after a closely fought 3-2 victory in the capital.
On a wet night in Katamon, Jerusalem took another valuable three points in their march up the table, but it was Modi’in who started the brighter.
After a few half chances for both sides, Modi’in’s midfield started controling the game, and on 15 minutes, only a last gasp clearance from Yoel Finches kept the visitors at bay. Modi’in thought they had a penalty a few minutes later as one of their players took a tumble in the box, but the infringement took place just outside, with the momentum taking the player down in the box.
Modi’in upped the tempo and were rewarded on the half hour for their dominant play when Yonatan Journo finished off a great move, slotting in the cross for a well deserved lead. Instead of going for the killer second, Modi’in seemed to take their foot off the gas, and allowed Jerusalem to get back into the game.
In the 36th minute, Amit Dinowitz equalised, finishing a well worked team goal. 1-1. Both sides followed with a few good shots from distance, but Jerusalem finished the half the stronger, and two minutes before the interval, Gav Cohen realeased Lollu Hibbert on the wing who cut the ball into the path of Moishe Lewis, who made no mistake. 2-1 Jerusalem. With the bit between Jerusalem’s teeth, they almost squeezed a third before the half-time whistle, only for Dinowitz and then Daniel Cohen to be denied by some great keeping by Iliyah Kovalov in the Modi’in goal.
Jerusalem started the second half as they finished the first, only to be denied by a couple of good saves by Kovalov. With 53 minutes on the clock, Modi’in had a strong appeal for a penalty, when the ball struck Solomon Emekle Eze’s raised hand. Whilst everyone felt the handball took place in the box, the ref awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. With Modi’in feeling aggrieved, Jerusalem countered directly from the free-kick, breaking with pace. Hibbert’s cross was dummied by Daniel Cohen leaving Lewis with a simple finish for his 2nd and Jerusalem’s 3rd. 3-1.
Where most teams would have crumbled, Modi’in slowly lifted themselves, and trying to chase the game were by far the dominant side in the last 20 minutes, only to be denied by a number of great saves by Daniel Boerstra in the Jerusalem goal, and a clearance from Calev Ben Dor off the line. With Modi’in pushing to get back in the game, Lewis almost got his hat-trick on a counter-attack, but put the ball wide. Moments later Dan Kosky almost scored Jerusalem’s fourth, when he had the luxury of a free header from a corner, but somehow headed over.
With the game seeming to be running away from Modi’in, they were thrown a life line in the 86th minute, when Finches was adjudged to have brought down their attacker as he went for the by-line. Shlomi Levi calmly slotted the penalty in for 3-2. With the ref indicating three minutes of time added on, Modi’in tried to get the equaliser, but the Jerusalem back line held strong for a very hard earned 3-2 win.
Jerusalem’s joint manager Danny Newman, was relieved at the final whistle. He said: “After last week’s nine-goal demolition of Real Jerusalem, it was inevitable that we would be brought back down to earth, and Modi’in’s midfield were superb. For large chunks they out-played us. Modi’in will feel hard done by, not getting the penalty for the hand ball, but as we saw with Howard Webb, even the so called top refs get key decisions wrong. They are a quality side, but our boys kept plugging away, and controlled the key parts of the game, to give us the 2 goal cushion, that ultimately proved crucial against a quality opposition. It is another 3 points in the bag as we push for a top 3 finish for yet another year.”
Daniel Boerstra, Yoel Finches, Solomon Emekle Eze, Dan Kosky, David Preston, Akiva Zneimer, Gav Cohen, Lollu Hibbert, Amit Dinowitz, Daniel Cohen, Moishe Lewis
Yigal Grayeff, Calev Ben Dor, Chaim Lev
Dinowitz (36), Lewis (43, 54)
Iliyah Kovalov, Gal Bitan, Yossi Pedalon, Ilan Shmueli, Adam Bruce, Shlomi Levi, Omri Enckaoua, Matan Kroizer, Yaron, Beni Sragif, Itai Saidoff, Adi Meiyuri, Amichai Friedman, Nadav Shema, Yonatan Journo
Journo (30), Levi (86 pen)
Semi-Final Draw for Olim Teamsnap Cup:
On Sunday morning, the draw was made for the semi final of the Olim Teamsnap Cup.
Five teams went into the draw, for probably the toughest semi final line up so far, with the quarter final between Aviv and Modi’in to be played this coming week.
Jerusalem vs Bambi
Aviv City/Modi’in vs England FC
*Final & 3rd/4th play-off to be played on 22nd March at Nes Tziona Stadium
Brief profile of teams still in the cup.
Aviv City – Boast a number of ex pros from Africa, Europe and Israel, who have played at the highest level in their respective former countries. Past cup winners.
Bambi – The only predominant Israeli team in the league. Having a phenomenal season, all but mathematically won the league, and favourites to be the first team to win the league and cup double. The team to beat.
England FC – A mixture of anglo olim and Israelis. A number of noted past MSFL stars now living in Israel. Defending league champions, one of the best teams to grace the wold of Olim football. Alongside Jerusalem, have won the most trophies. (Founder members of Olim League)
Jerusalem – Predominantly English side, with a few Dutch thrown in. Strong ex Hendon Utd (MSFL) core, as well as other past MSFL players. Former league champions and current cup holders, looking to win silverware for an unprecedented 3rd year in a row. Alongside England FC, have won the most trophies. (Founder members of Olim League)
Modi’in – One of the toughest teams in the league this season. On their day, can and have beaten anyone. Still awaiting their maiden trophy.
England FC 3 Ra’anana 2
England FC made their way to the semi final of the Olim Cup last Saturday after a tough 3-2 victory over Ra’anana.
With both teams out of the running for the league title, there was a huge emphasis on both sides to win at all costs and the intensity of the match itself reflected that.
England FC made the better start and were rewarded for their efforts when central midfielder, Amitai Backar, scored a screamer from 40 yards on the half-volley and into the top corner. However, their lead didn’t last long and Ra’anana’sfront-man, Aviad Ben Meir, managed to wriggle away from England’s defence to score two goals shortly after.
Yet, the teams went into the half-time break all square, after a goalmouth scramble ended with Omri Hamama to make it 2-2, just before half-time.
Second half substitute for England, Motti Colman, who had come straight from the airport, was instrumental in midfield after the break and it was his cross that led to Yuval Ruppin’s winner midway through the second half.
England had to battle hard to earn their victory though and a Ra’anana onslaught followed. Yet, the England defence stood firm and goal-saving tackles from the likes of manager Terry Newman, Sam Sank, Omer Peleg and Omri Elani ensured the win.
England will now face either Modi’in or Aviv in the semi finals.
Elsewhere Aviv City beat Ashdod 2-0.
Team and Manager of the week:
Eli Edri (Aviv)
Naor Lisha (Aviv)
Solo Kone (Aviv)
Terry Newman (England)
Yoel Finches (Jerusalem)
Shlomi Levi (Modiin)
Omri Hamama (England)
Yuval Rupin (England)
Amit Dinowitz (Jerusalem)
Moishe Lewis (Jerusalem)
Aviad Ben Meir (Raanana)
Uri Schneider (Aviv)