England FC was crowned Olim League champion for the second time in three years Saturday night after beating Modi’in on the road.
Out the blocks quickly, England created a lot of chances with the lively Adam Jaffe causing problems for the Modi’in back four, only to find Modi’in keeper Iliyah Cohen having a career game, making save after save.
The pressure mounted when Cohen was helpless to stop Chad Waldman, who taped in from close range. Emboldened, England continued to attack and Jaffe deservedly got his goal and then provided another for Roy Bihi to make it 3-0 at the break.
Modi’in came out fighting in the second half, trying to play the role of party pooper, and the ever lively Beni Sagrovich was brought down in the box to give David Zackon the chance to score from the spot − which he did.
The rain started to come down and England failed to convert numerous opportunities, with Cohen continuing his fine form of the first half, keeping out Motti Coleman and Jaffe on several occasions.
England was made to sweat when Beni Sagrovich made a great run and slipped in behind the defense to make the score 3-2 with 15 minutes to go.
At this point it appeared an upset was in the cards, with Modi’in looking the more likely to score. However, England didn’t try to shut up shop and continued to press, and man of the match Jaffe put the game to bed with a neat finish that started the celebrations.
After the final whistle the champagne started flowing as England was crowned champion. Player manager Yoni Sidi said after the game, “Each year the league is getting stronger and it is a great achievement for the lads to win it. We have all worked very hard throughout the year and played some great football along the way. We can’t switch off just yet, as we are still involved in two more cup competitions that we really want to win.”
Club captain Tal Stern added that “The team spirit this season has been immense and has shown in the brand and quality of football we have played this season. Winning the league this season is especially rewarding given the high standards set by our opposition, and it is a credit to this league that we were made to work until the very last minute of the season to be named as champions.”
“I am extremely proud of my boys for putting in a great performance tonight and for their commitment throughout the season,” added Modi’in co-manager Jamie Lazarus. “We will look to build for next year and come back stronger and more determined to challenge for trophies.”