Rainball Tel Aviv 1 v Jerusalem 11
With the first storms of the winter battering much of Israel, the weather held off long enough for Jerusalem to move up to second in the table, after ultimately running out very comfortable winners against basement side Rainball Tel Aviv.
With Rainball’s results gradually getting better, Jerusalem lined up in a somewhat cautious line up to weather any initial danger, and hope to avoid becoming the first victims of Rainball in the Olim league.
The first 10 minutes were very cagey, with not even a hint of a shot on goal for either side. Slowly, Jerusalem set down into their tempo, and a combination of decent goalkeeping and very poor finishing kept the score goalless.
The breakthrough did however come in the 26th minute, when against the run of play, Noam Siluk saw Daniel Boerstra off his line and lobbed the Jerusalem keeper with a peach of a shot from 35 yards out to give the home side a 1-0 lead with their very first attack of the game.
After a small tactical switch, the away side deservedly got themselves on level terms just after the half hour, when Zack Lewis rounded the goalkeeper to slot home, earning himself a yellow card for his goal celebration. The half petered out with Jerusalem in the ascendancy, doing everything but score. At half-time, Jerusalem made some changes, in the hope that the 2nd half would go the same way it did the previous week, when the half-time talk inspired them to accelerate away to victory.
Attacking straight from the restart, Jerusalem won a corner. The in-swinging corner was met by Solomon Emeke Eza at the far post to slot home his first goal in a Jerusalem shirt since joining last year. 2-1. A few minutes later, Yehuda Korman almost made it three, when his acrobatic scissor kick from the edge of the box just cleared the crossbar. A minute later though he turned provider for Zack Lewis to prod home his 2nd and Jerusalem’s third.
At that point, with Jerusalem dominating with attack after attack, Rainball’s heads dropped, and it was a question of how wide the victory margin would be.
Korman again turned provider, this time for Akiva Zneimer to bury the ball into the net, to make the score 4-1, before Dan Kosky played a corner back into the path of Solomon for his 2nd of the night. 5-1.
Mordy Weiler then had a shot cleared off the line before Dan Cohen seeing the keeper off his line, expertly lobbing from 20 yards for 6-1.
As the game approached the final 20 minutes, Jerusalem went in search of more. Weiler was brought down in the box, and centre back Solomon stepped up to stroke the ball in the back of the net for a very rare hat trick. 7-1.
Seven became eight when David Preston capitalised on the poor marking to head in another Jerusalem corner, and with just under 15 minutes to go, Weiler got his deserved first goal of the season to make it 9-1. Zack Lewis determined to get a hat-trick himself went close a couple times, only to be thwarted by some excellent goalkeeping and the outside of the post.
The tenth came from Moishe Lewis in what was a very close call, being deemed to have beaten the offside trap, for him to add his name to the score sheet. He almost got a second two minutes later, this time it was his turn to be denied by the post. Finally Dan Cohen sealed a fine performance with another 25 yard screamer to make the final score 11-1.
Jerusalem’s joint manager, Danny Newman commended the attitude of Rainball Tel Aviv, saying: “Despite us being the better side, Rainball gave us a very frustrating first half. This is proving to be a tough first season for them in the Olim League, but they have great attitude and are only a couple of players from being a quality side.
“They should take encouragement from other sides that joined the league over the past few years who struggled in their first season. One only needs to look at Ra’anana, who have gone from a side that has finished bottom of the table to one that is currently odds on favourite to win their first title this year. If they stick together, they can develop into a side that should grace the league for years to come, winning plenty of games, but hopefully not at our expense.”
Reflecting on the result, Newman added: “With all the goals being shared around, it was pleasing to see the new signings starting to gel with the more established players. All our strikers got on the score sheet, and it was especially good to see Mordy finally get the monkey off his back and score his first goal since joining us over the summer. However, it was a first to see 2 of our defenders grab the headlines, with Solomon taking home the match ball after his first goals for Jerusalem, yet alone his first hat trick, and my fellow player manager David Preston scoring a rare header.
“Our next game is not for 2 weeks, when we entertain runaway leaders Ra’anana. For once, I believe our usual rivals; England FC and Jaffa will be hoping that we take the full three points to tighten things up a little at the top. Anything other than that and Ra’anana will have all but one hand on their first league title, even at this early stage.”
Rainball Tel Aviv:
Ron Cohen, Tom Moran, Or Ganism, Lior Sabag, Yehuda Sinvany-BenYoseph, Eran Levy-Zaks, Naor Sibony, Tzvi Shir, Itay Gargir, Noam Siluk, Eri Kavdiel, Ran Nehoray Hen, Idan Ofer
Noam Siluk (26)
Daniel Boerstra, Danny Sigal, Dan Kosky, Solomon Emeke Eza, David Preston, Eli Warner, Gav Cohen, Yehuda Korman, Mordy Weiler, Zack Lewis, Moishe Lewis. Subs: Dan Cohen, Akiva Zneimer, Gav Krieger
Zack Lewis (32, 50), Solomon Emeke Eza (46, 55, 72 pen), Akiva Zneimer (54), Dan Cohen (60, 85), David Preston (74), Mordy Weiler (76), Moishe Lewis (83)
Zack Lewis (32)
Yehuda Korman (38)
Ra’nana 5 England 1
The top-of-the-table clash between Ra’anana and England FC lived up to the hype but when the final whistle went it wasn’t even near as close as most expected.
Ra’anana started strong but on a soaked pitch let an early goal slip. Ra’anana dominated early possession and seemed to have the game under control, a hopeful cross slipped out of the hands of Ra’anana goalkeeper Daniel Bergman and Yishai Last pounced to set up an early lead for England.
Ra’anana wouldn’t let their heads drop and quickly regained their rhythm, the upfront duo of the league’s leading goal scorer Aviad Ben Meir and Gabi Kanikofsky caused tremendous problems all night for the England FC defense and after 15 minutes Hanani Corney broke free to the left and delivered a delightful ball, Aviad not seeing a clear line to goal controlled and laid across the pass out to the right for Chaim Elimicech to slot home.
England were clearly rattled and struggling to keep hold of the Ra’annana front two, with the momentum behind them Ra’anana capitalised again with Hannai Corney swinging in a stunning cross from the left wing for Kanikofsky to fire home. To England’s credit they didn’t allow the game to be dictated and forced the Ra’anana defence to keep working.
With space opening up in the midfield as the game inched toward half-time the ball fell to Yuval Ruppin with time and space to pick his spot he rifled the ball into the top right from 35 yards. The game was on a knife edge with momentum and possession swinging between the sides. It took a moment of dog eared determination and brilliance to force Ra’anana back in the lead, Ra’anana made a few changes to rest legs before the end of first half and fresh legs from Ze’ev Landsman meant pressure was put on England’s defense, Ze’ev forced an error and charged forward, he found Gabi K who proffeiosnal side stepped his marker before taking his opportunity clinically. 3-2 at the break but all still to play for.
In the second half Ra’anana’s new found confidence and maturity began to show, they controlled the game and ran the tempo as and when it suited them. Gabi and Aviad continued to cause panic every time the ball pushed up but much mention should be made of the solidity at the back for Ra’anana with Mike Issacson doing a fantastis job at the back sweeping up, while Josh Lipman maintained balance in the middle of the park. But man-of-the-match belonged to the young Gabi Kanikofksy who finding space around the 60-minute mark picked up the ball around 50 yards out moving swiftly through he danced in and out eventually finding the right angle to claim his well-deserved hat-trick. The scoring was wrapped up in the final minutes as Hillel Bloch found Ze’ev this time on right, with two on two he selflessly laid it back to Aviad to claim his 10th goal of the campaign.
Ra’anana joint-manager Avi Wiesenberg said: “I’m pleased we played to our potential today and the team has gelled quickly, I think it’s too early to be talking about a title but there is a real belief in this team, we have finally started to mature and the addition of a few new singing combined with young talent has given us a much stronger backbone, our experience has grown allowing us to take the game to opponent. With our strikers in the form they are in I believe we should beat anyone in the league on our day. Our next game is another big test, Jerusalem have a pitch that doesn’t suit our free flowing football and like to suffocate any actual football from being played so it’s often hard to break them down on such a small pitch, I won’t be drawn into title winning speculation until we’ve played a few more games but will be nice to keep this winning streak going.”
In other results, a hat-trick from Gavriel Kanichowsky helped Ra’anan to a 5-2 win over England FC. Chaim Elimelech and Aviad Ben Meir scored their other two, with Yuval Rupin and Yishai Last scoring for England.
Two goals from Mike Langer helped Inter to a 4-2 win over Jaffa. Yossi Milhem and David Schuman were also on target, while Adi Ginzburg and Josh Bar replied for Jaffa.
A double from Shmouel Darmon, plus Marvin Meimoun’s strike saw Ashdod win 3-1 at Mod’in, Omri Cohen netted their consolation.
TEAM OF THE WEEK:
G Daniel Boerstra ( Jerusalem)
D Natan Weisenberg (Raanana)
D Sam Sank (Inter)
D Yossi Milhem (Inter)
D Solomon (Jerusalem)
M MARVIN MEIMOUN (Ashdod)
M Mike Langer (Inter)
M Yehuda Korman (Jerusalem)
F Gabi Kanichowsky (Raanana)
F SHMOUEL DARMON (Ashodod)
F Dan Cohen (Jerusalem)