Ra'anana and visiting Jaffa kicked off the season with a shower of goals on a rain-soaked pitch, with the hosts emerging on top 5-2.
The game started off with both sides moving the ball around the pitch, looking to penetrate each other's defense lines, with no luck until the 15th minute when the Meatlanders' Raffi Kanikowsky put his team ahead through a great right footed strike. The visitors came straight back into the game, taking advantage of a leak in Ra'anana's defense by using quick passes to press the Ra'anana goal. The Jaffa attackers put some great passes past the Ra'anana defense and keeper to bring the score to 1-1.
Toward the 35-minute mark Ra'anana found its second breakthrough through Omri Geshitt, who along with Danny Rebuck in midfield pressed the Jaffa defense until the ball fell favorably for Omri, whose powerful strike left the Jaffa keeper no chance.
The second half began with Jaffa looking to get back on equal terms. Ra'anana continued to press and within 20 minutes added three more goals to its tally through Yair Aronson, Naphtali Kanikowsky and another by Raffi Ranikowsky.
Ra'anana came close a number of times, but failed to add to its four-goal advantage. Both the score line and the rain did not deter Jaffa, which continued to press, forcing desperate tackles by Ra'anana's defense, including a disputed penalty decision that was not given by the ref.
Ra'anana's Robin Burkeman was forced into a number of saves from strikes by Jaffa strikers. Jaffa did pull one goal back after a blunder in the Ra'anana defense, which was duly punished.
The final whistle saw Ra'anana get its first three points of the season, a result which they are certainly happy about. Ra'anana's player-co-manager Avi Cohen: "Kol Hakavod to Jaffa who gave us a real run for our money, from the first minute and until the final whistle. This is a great start to the new season. We are looking forward to a good challenging year. Good luck to everyone."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now