Jerusalem 8 Rainball Tel Aviv 3
On a bitterly cold night in the capital, Jerusalem moved up to second, thanks to another convincing win that further assisted their vastly superior over their rivals in 3rd and 4th in the table.
Jerusalem went into this fixture in the knowledge that despite being rock bottom, Rainball have run a few teams close in recent weeks thanks to a few new signings.
Despite missing three first team midfielders, Jerusalem went into this fixture confident that their stretched squad would bring an all important 3 points as the league enters the final furlong.
Straight from the off, Jerusalem threatened Rainball’s player manager Ron Cohen in goal, but any shot was met by an even better save.
The breakthrough came a little after ten minutes, when Gav Krieger was gifted a free header from Itamar Kornfeld’s superb corner, to head in his first goal of the season.
With Rainball looking rather susceptible from crosses, Moishe Lewis was able to poke home the easiest of finishes from another cross a few minutes later.
It wasn’t long till Jerusalem got a third. Another Kornfeld corner was this time headed in by Zack Lewis, and almost immediately after the restart, 3 became 4, this time Zack Lewis being provider, as a clever flick found Eyal Toledo to score his first of the season.
Jerusalem kept attacking, but a mixture of quality defending, great goalkeeping and poor finishing (including an open goal), kept the score down. The inevitable 5th came as Moishe Lewis found the extra yard to slip his marker and blast the ball past Cohen for his 2nd of the night.
With the half petering out, an uncharacteristic error from Daniel Boerstra in the Jerusalem goal allowed Yochai Cohen the chance to score his 2nd goal of the season in only his second appearance for Rainball, the first goal conceded by Jerusalem in 225 minutes of football.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first, and 2 quick fire goals put the game to bed. Zack Lewis provided the perfect pass for Dan Cohen to expertly slot the ball into the corner, and within 60 seconds from the restart, Dan Cohen unselfishly reciprocated to allow Zack Lewis to slot into an empty net for his 2nd, and Jerusalem’s 7th. At 7-1, with just under 40 minutes to go, double figures seemed on the cards again (Jerusalem having scored 11 in the reverse fixture a few months earlier).
But to their credit, Rainball’s heads did not drop and they kept trying to get back into the game. With Ron Cohen continuing to frustrate Jerusalem’s strikers, Rainball slowly started getting a few opportunities at the other end, and new signing Eliot Tubul capitalized on a defensive error to slot past Boerstra. 7-2.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Moishe Lewis completed his hat trick with another clinical finish to make it 8-2.
Akiva Zneimer also got his name on the score sheet, only to be denied by the thickness of the post, but it was Rainball’s debutant Eliot Tubul who would have the final say, with a great strike in the dying seconds to grab a late consolation.
Jerusalem’s joint manager, Danny Newman was pleased with the result, but unhappy that the defence leaked 3 goals, 2 coming from uncharacteristic errors. “With no disrespect to Rainball, if we were going to miss 3 key players, and to make those sloppy mistakes at the back, this was the game to get that out the system.”
“Rainball are definitely getting stronger, and the way they tried to get themselves back in the game, even at 7-1 down is highly commendable. They have made a couple of nice signings, and with a couple more, their first win is surely just around the corner.”
Reflecting on the title run in, Newman added, “The next 2 games will be crucial if we are to have any chance of gate-crashing Ra’anana’s title party. We have 2 very tough games. First former champs England FC come to us next week. This is usually a very high octane game, between the two most decorated sides in Olim football. Despite a very poor season by England’s standards, they have quality throughout their ranks and have already beaten us earlier on this season.”
“The following week, we make the long trip to league leaders Ra’anana. They are a quality side, and deservedly sit 7 points clear at the top. We have a game in hand, but even that is probably not going to be enough, as even IF we were to beat them on their own turf, we would still need them to drop points elsewhere, which is very unlikely, as after our game, they have a far easier run in, facing the bottom 3 in three of their final 4 games.”
We will try and keep plugging away to keep the pressure on them, in the hope they make an unexpected slip, but even if we were to win our final 6 games, we will still most likely fall short of Ra’anana who have not really put a foot wrong all season.”
Daniel Boerstra, Danny Sigal, Dan Kosky, Gav Krieger, Eli Warner, Itamar Kornfeld, Eyal Toledo, Akiva Zneimer, Mordy Weiler, Zack Lewis, Moishe Lewis. Subs: Dan Cohen, Solomon Emeke Eza, David Preston.
Gav Krieger (12), Moishe Lewis (18, 37, 79), Zack Lewis (22, 52), Eyal Toldeo (24), Dan Cohen (51)
Rainball Tel Aviv:
Ron Cohen, Almog Shiloach, Or Ganism, Shai Zalait, Ran Nehoray Hen, Eri Kavdiel, Ori Weisbrod, Noam Siluk, Yochai Cohen, Matan Zohar, Eliot Tubul
Yochai Cohen (42), Eliot Tubul (73, 90)
Jaffa 0 Inter Tel Aviv 2
In what was a tight and feisty affair, Olim League newcomers Inter Tel Aviv secured an impressive double for the season over Jaffa, following last weekend’s victory.
At both side’s home pitch it was Inter who came away with all three points to put themselves level pegging with Jaffa, but with a game in hand. Although the title seems unlikely, Inter have at least put themselves in with a outside chance if they continue to win all their games.
The away side scored on what was their first attack, James Fattal, so often the provider, curled in a beautiful corner which was turned home on the half-volley by Inter’s lone frontman, Mike Langer.
Despite going behind early on, Jaffa had the better of the half and pressed continuously. Having won the battle in the midfield they searched for the equaliser for the entire half and almost found it when Josh Bar was out through on goal, but the striker dragged his shot wide. The half continued in the same fashion, but every Jaffa attempt at goal was equally met by Inter’s faultless keeper, Sam Friedman.
Inter were lucky to go into the break with the advantage and manager Jerome Katz made sure they knew this as he sent his side back out following his half-time team talk. It worked wonders. The team in black came out fighting and arguably produced the best half of football all season. With Airton Manuel and Manu Schultz providing the attacking prowess, it looked as if it were only a matter of time until Inter doubled the lead.
Martin Orson, who had replaced Langer up front, was the man to get his side’s second goal, after he took advantage of a mix-up at the back for Jaffa, before powering home with his left foot into the bottom corner.
To Jaffa’s credit they continued to press, but the sturdy Inter defence seemed determine to earn a third clean sheet of the season. Dan Berkley and Josh Bar had chances to halve the deficit, but Sam Sank was at hand on both occasions with outstretched blocks.
In the end, Inter’s grit and determination, coupled with their quick, attractive style of play shone through and gave them a victory to savour.
The third game of the weekend saw goals from Martin Orson and Mike Langer earn Inter Tel Aviv a 2-0 win at Jaffa.