A rain soaked pitch in Jaffa, saw an exhilirating between top of the league Ra’anana and title hopefuls Inter. Inter settled first and playing some excellent football, they moved the ball well and early on you could see Ra’anana knew this would be a tough fought game. Ra’anana still reeling from throwing away three goals against Mod’iiin last week were left wondering how they didn’t capitalise on the first chance of the game. The ball fell to Zeev Landsman who having beaten his man hit a ferocious volley from a tight angle towards the top corner only to see it brilliantly saved by the Inter goalkeeper Sam Friedman who was in fine form all evening.
It came though as no surprise when on the 15 minute mark, Inter took the lead, good possession play had put Ra’anana under pressure and the resulting corner was converted easily, Sam Sank had the easy task of nodding in from a couple of yards out while left unmarked at the far post.
Ra’annana almost replied immediately when haim elimelech had the ball in the net but the referee ruled it out for offside. The remainder of the half followed a similar pattern with Inter dominating but failing to create clear cut chances.
With co-managers Avi Wiesenberg, Guv Lebens and Moshe Freedman looking increasingly frustrated on the side lines, things had to change in the second half for Ra’anana. They came out with more focus and determination having been told in no uncertain terms that the performance in the first half was not good enough and despite being without goal machine and league top scorer Aviad Ben Meir, they should have been doing better. The tide began to change and a couple of chances followed but it was not until the 65 minute mark that the game was turned on its head.
First, a corner ball broke to Tito Telias who unleashed an unstoppable shot past the keeper to level the scores. Only a minute later Raanana were ahead. An outstanding team move saw Ronen Goldsmith released down the left who got in behind the defense, he laid it back to Hananni Corney who nipped in infront of the defender to dispatch the ball into the net. Inter to their credit kept pushing till the end, playing attractive football without panicking. The best of the chances was from a free-kick just outside the area however the ball was blasted over.
In the final 10 minutes, Raanana almost extended the lead when a fast counter attack saw Uri…… played in by Zeev. His low drive brought a smart stop from the goalkeeper whom parried the ball back to the attacker who then took it round him and appeared to be brought down for a a clear penalty only for the referee to wave play on. At the final whistle Raanana were delighted to come away with the win to keep their assault not he title on track while inter will feel like they deserved a point.
Ra’anana manager Wiesenberg said: “As they say it’s a game of two halves, Inter were a credit to the league tonight and we are thrilled to walk away with the points, we know everygame is battle and everyone is gunning for us. We were without our two regular strikers so even more pleased that we managed to turn this game around, it shows the determination in the team and the quality of the squad, we have a real belief this year and it has been severely tested over the last two games but we are delighted to still be maintaining our unbeaten run and will take each game is at comes.”