On a night when all other games in the Sports Direct Olim League were called off due to bad weather, England FC hosted Inter Tel Aviv on Saturday night in a cold mid-table clash with both teams coming off the back of a month of good form.
The game started with a battle in the midfield as the two sides tried to take control of the game. England initially dominated although were unable to test the Inter keeper, Sam Friedman. The game was to take a sudden change after 15 minutes, when England’s defender Alex Waiman and Inter’s striker Doron Bruck were both sent off for violent conduct. Both teams reorganized for a 10 on 10 that would be grueling on a big pitch.
It was then Inter who were to strike first with an excellent 30 yard shot from Manu Schultz into the top hand corner. The rest of the first half saw both sides trying to close down on the other’s goal but with little joy.
The second half started in a similar manner with both teams battling in midfield but unable to penetrate the final third. Inter played more direct football through the middle as England tried to utilize the extra space on the pitch by stretching the game. It was Inter that dominated at this stage as their younger years and younger legs showed. They broke through the England defence on a couple of occasions but were agonizingly denied by the bar and post.
The game turned ugly as passion from both sides overflowed and yellow cards were wielded to the perpetrators. England, however, persevered with their game plan and were to be rewarded in the 91st minute when debutant substitute, Oron Kaiser, got on to the end of a excellent cross field ball from Motti Colman, to slot it past the Inter keeper, Freidman, and level the game. Both sides held tight during the rest of injury time and the game ended 1-1.
Following the game England FC manager, Terry Newman, commented: ‘This was a tight scrappy game. Inter have really improved this season – albeit with some of our England players! The result was fair. Now we must focus on our final run in against Jaffa, Ranaana and Ashdod.’
Inter’s stand-in manager, Sam Sank, commented: “It was absolutely gutting to concede at the end and the draw feels like a defeat, as we were the better side. England gave us a good fight and I think they took that phrase a little bit too literally by the end with their style of play. Nevertheless, we are pleased with our own performance and can look back on a superb season up till now, in which we will aim to finish in the top three. Next year, England won’t get so lucky in their last minute equalizers, COYI”.