JERUSALEM

Jerusalem FC

The one game in this weekend’s Olim League saw Dan Cohen’s dramatic late double keep alive Jerusalem’s very faint title hopes.

Jerusalem 4 v England FC 3
Jerusalem’s very faint title hopes were kept alive thanks to a very late brace from Dan Cohen in time added on.

England FC made the trip to the capital in good spirits following two wins on the trot but missing some key players. Jerusalem also went into this fixture missing a few first team players, but on paper and form, looked the slightly stronger.

After a few half chances in the opening minutes, Jerusalem deservedly took the lead after a cross from Akiva Zneimer found Mordy Weiler at the back post to poke the ball home, with barely 10 minutes on the clock.

England almost hit straight back, only to be denied by an excellent save from Daniel Boerstra. Jerusalem dominated the next quarter of an hour, but were unable to penetrate the England back four.

England went on the ascendency, and a corner found Roy Bihi-Zenou who climbed highest to power his header into the back of the net, to level the scores.

Within a minute, Jerusalem were back in front, as Gav Cohen struck a crisp volley that appeared to be heading straight for Roy Meron in the England goal. However, an uncharacteristic lapse in concentration from the vocal keeper allowed the ball to slip through his hands and crawl over the line. 2-1 Jerusalem.

Two almost became three on the stroke of half-time, with Yehuda Korman coming on and finding the extra yard, only to be denied by the cross bar.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first, with Jerusalem having the best of the early chances, but the game turned when an England counter attack found Gaby Balulu who was able to find space and expertly slot the ball past the onrushing keeper, to put England back on level terms.

The goal invigorated the away side, who started to control the middle of the park. Jerusalem thought they had taken the lead once more, after Itamar Kornfeld stayed on his feet to get a cross in, which ricocheted around the six-yard line, before falling to Weiler who back healed the ball towards the goal. Weiler turned away to celebrate, believing the ball had crossed the line, only for the referee to wave play on, as the last-ditch clearance by Tal Stern came before the ball went over the line.

England turned up a gear, and took the lead with the goal of the game as Omri Hamama struck a peach of a shot from outside the area that nestled into the back of the net.

Jerusalem, with nothing to lose, then made some changes with a very attacking line up taking off a centre-back and holding midfielder though everything they threw forward was lapped up by the England back line, marshaled by Yoni Sidi and Omer Peleg. If anything, it was England who looked the more likely to score, having a couple of close chances on the counter.

With the referee showing four minutes of time added on for injuries and other delays, Jerusalem turned the tie on its head, with two very late goals to snatch the three points.

Two minutes into the four, Korman swung in a cross that was met by Dan Cohen’s perfectly timed header to find the bottom of the right hand corner. With the bit between their teeth, the hosts got the unlikely winner 90 seconds later, when a slick Jerusalem move found Hibbert who slid the ball through the England defence to find the onrushing Dan Cohen who rounded Meron in the England goal, to slot the ball in to send the Jerusalem supporters wild.

England’s manager Terry Newman summed another classic Jerusalem v England FC game in one word. “Gutted!”

Jerusalem’s joint manager, Danny Newman was thrilled with the crucial win, but not the second half performance. He said: “It was a vital three points which keeps any slim chances of another title alive for another week. If I am being honest, we should have put the game to bed in the first half which we dominated. However, England is a top quality team, and games between the two of us are always titanic battles. They were by far the better organized side in the second half, getting their tactics spot on. They did not deserve to lose the game, and it would have been a very long journey back to Tel Aviv for them, after our smash and grab win.”

“Dan Cohen is the most unselfish of strikers, but he really stepped up to the plate with 2 crucial finishes in Fergie time, to ensure that next week’s game at league leaders Ra’anana will be a true blockbuster!”

Jerusalem:
Daniel Boerstra, Dan Kosky, Gav Krieger, Solomon Emeke Eza, Eli Warner, Gav Cohen, Akiva Zneimer, Lollu Hibbert, Mordy Weiler, Moishe Lewis, Dan Cohen. Subs: Itamar Kornfeld, Zack Lewis, Yehuda Korman.

Goals:
Mordy Weiler (10), Gav Cohen (42), Dan Cohen (92, 94)

Yellow:
Daniel Boerstra

England FC:
Roy Meron, Sam Kornfeld, Omer Peleg, Yoni Sidi, Jonny Schelmedrine, Aviv Bejarano, Marco Laurence, Tal Stern. Yuval Ruppin, Clark Norton, Gaby Balulu, Omri Hamama, Roy Bihi-Zenou

Goals:
Roy Bihi-Zenou (41), Gaby Balulu (54), Omri Hamama (72)

Yellow:
Gaby Balulu

Olim League Table:

P Diff Points
Ra’anana 11 28 29
Jerusalem 11 35 25
Jaffa 12 14 22
Inter Tel Aviv 11 2 22
England FC 11 1 17
Ashdod 11 -6 15
Real Ath Jer 10 0 12
Modiin 11 -17 4
Rainball Tel Aviv 12 -57 0