Jerusalem 5 v Inter Tel Aviv 1
Both sides went into this game in plenty of form, with virtually identical records, both being unbeaten since the opening weekend of the season back in September. With both sides having a game in hand and sitting six points behind leaders Ra’anana, each new that anything but a win would see them lose pace on the league’s pacesetters, who were in the process of picking up a further 3 points in a demolition job of basement boys Rainball Tel Aviv.
Inter made the trip to Jerusalem missing a few key personnel, whilst the hosts also missing a few first teamers, were forced into a starting 11, as their two available subs turned up half an hour after kick-off. Jerusalem were first to mark their intent, as Moishe Lewis opened the scoring with the first attack from a throw in, the game barely five minutes old, 1-0 Jerusalem.
Four minutes later and it should have been two. A defensive mix up allowed Daniel Cohen to go through, only to be impeded in the area. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot. With Jerusalem’s regular penalty takers off the pitch, keeper Daniel Boerstra stepped up, only to see his tamely hit shot easily saved by the keeper.
The missed penalty seemed to knock Jerusalem out of their stride, as Inter started edging the play, though failing to show any real threat on goal. Both sides had one solitary effort each in the next 25 minutes, before a five-minute spell saw Jerusalem threaten the Inter goal with the second coming after a great cross by Gav Cohen found his twin brother Daniel Cohen, who headed past the outstretched hand of the keeper into the back of the net. 2-0.
Despite going into half-time two goals to the good, Jerusalem weren’t at their best, and they knew that the first 5-10 minutes would be key, in determining the outcome of the game. The players responded and with less than 10 minutes gone in the half, Jerusalem scored two quick goals, to all but end the game as a contest. First Eyal Toledo’s great through ball found Daniel Cohen to slide the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper, and then within a minute later, Zack Lewis put Gav Cohen through to make it 4-0.
To their credit, Inter’s heads did not drop, and the put some nice moves together in a bid to try and get back into the game. With a little over a quarter of an hour to go, Inter pulled one back with the goal of the game. A great angled through ball found Emanuel Scholtz who showed composure to score his 4th in 3 games. 4-1.
Any hopes of a mini revival were soon put to bed as Jerusalem almost hit straight back, with Mordy Weiler seeing his shot go wide, and then a few minutes later, Zack Lewis was given the little space that he needs to make it 5-1 with a neat finish. Towards the end, a great run from defence by Gav Krieger saw him have a crack from the edge of the area, and the keeper did well to tip the tight angled shot, over the bar.
Jerusalem’s joint manager, Danny Newman was delighted with the three points. He said: “To be honest, it wasn’t the greatest performance from us, but it says a lot about our confidence, that we were able to take an ultimately comfortable three points from a top quality opposition. We looked a little flat at times, but were fortunate to meet Inter on what was an off day for them too. They showed glimpses of why they had gone almost three months undefeated, and I am sure they will be a force in this league for the next few years. Fortunately all our strikers were a little more clinical than last week, and our defence looked rock solid, with Dan Kosky back from overseas, and Gav Krieger having an outstanding game too.
“Next week poses yet another hard test against a very strong Jaffa side who always give us a tough game. Judging from their last few results at home, they will be very confident of taking at least a point off us, if not more.”
Daniel Boerstra, Solomon Emeke Eza, Dan Kosky, Gavriel Krieger, David Preston, Eyal Toledo, Gav Cohen, Yehuda Korman, Daniel Cohen, Lollu Hibbert, Moishe Lewis.
Subs: Mordy Weiler, Zack Lewis.
Moishe Lewis (5), Daniel Cohen (35, 53), Gav Cohen (54), Zack Lewis (80)
Sam Friedmann, Omri Elani, Sam Sank, Ofir Djerbi, Amir Szuster, Emanuel Scholtz, Beni Polnauer, Ariel Benzaquen, James Fattal, Dani Markovitz, Ronny Cohen, Robertinho Lima, Gav Hill
Emanuel Scholtz (73)
Rainbow 7 Raanana 1
Raanana continued their strong start to the season with a well deserved win over bottom of the table Rainbow. However, the final score doesn’t reflect what was a very tight first half, where Rainbow actually took the lead.
In a fairly even first 20 minutes, there were chances at both ends, although Rainbow probably edged it, breaking through the Raanana defence on a number of occasions only to be denied by some excellent goalkeeping from Daniel Bergman. On the 20 minute mark Rainbow won a corner, and amidst some confusion from the Raanana defence the ball flew straight in without touching anyone. This wasn’t the first time that Raanana have had to come from behind this season and they quickly picked themselves up and searched for an equaliser. For the next five minutes Raanana created a number of half chances, the best of which fell to Aviad Ben Meir 25 yards out, but with the goalkeeper stranded the ball passed agonisingly close to what was an open goal.
At this point Raanana management made some changes, moving Josh Lipman to centre-back, and Zeev Landsman into the middle. This helped stem the tide at the back and also improve the flow of the game through the middle as Raanana began to dominate. On 40 minutes, Raanana were awarded a corner and after a scuffle in the box, player manager Gavriel Lebens, making his first start of the season, bundled the ball home. Half-time came with the score at 1-1.
At half-time Josh Lipman moved back to the middle with Tito Telias replacing him at CB and after some galvanizing words from the gaffers Raanana came out with an increased sense of urgency. After five minutes Raanana won another corner and after it broke to the edge of the box, Tito Telias struck a bullet into the bottom corner to make it 2-1. Soon after, Hillel Bloch playing in the unfamiliar role of RW, beat his man and sent an early cross which was expertly dispatched by Gavriel Lebens to make it 3-1.
At this point Raanana were completely dominant in the game with Mike Isaacson and Rafi Schachat playing it out from the back with ease. It wasn’t long before Raanana found a fourth, a delightful lob by Yigal Jasner from the edge of the box. Yigal soon followed this with a fifth, after which the irrepressible Aviad continued his fine scoring run with a sixth. Fortunately there was still time for Chanani Corney, who had been a threat all game, to excellently guide the ball past the Rainbow keeper. A fine Raanana performance, was completed when player manager Avi Weisenberg came on for a cameo performance for the last 5 minutes. The referee who had put in a fine performance all evening, eventually bought the game to an end.
For Rainbow this marked another loss, but they will note how they more than matched the league leaders for the first half, and if they can maintain their work rate in the 2nd half it won’t be long before they begin to collect points. For Raanana another win keeps them top of the table, and as they approach the halfway point of the season they just may begin to dream about the trophy