Four-midable Zack Lewis Seals Jerusalem Derby

Jaffa, Ra’anana in high-scoring wins.

David Bernstein
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Real Madrid’s Pepe, right, heads the ball toward team-mate Sami Khedira before Khedira scored against Barcelona during the April 21 'El Clasico' match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona.
Real Madrid’s Pepe, right, heads the ball toward team-mate Sami Khedira before Khedira scored against Barcelona during the April 21 'El Clasico' match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona.
David Bernstein

A four-goal performance by Zack Lewis saw Jerusalem ease to a comprehensive 7-2 win over crosstown rival Real Athletico Jerusalem, in the Olim League’s Jerusalem el clasico. Elsewhere, Jaffa trounced Modi’in 5-1 and Ra’anana stunned Ashdod 6-3.

Having played its solitary competitive game well over a month ago, last season’s runner-up Jerusalem found itself in unfamiliar territory, going into the local derby in the bottom three, without so much as a practice session since narrowly losing to England FC on the opening weekend of the season.

Real Athletico came into the game as one of the form teams, having annihilated Ashdod 9-2 in its own backyard during Sukkot.

The opening 10 minutes saw Jerusalem edge the possession with a couple of half chances, however both sides looked a little rusty and jaded. Against the run of play, Real Athletico took the lead courtesy of an own goal from Dan Kosky, who inadvertently turned Real Athletico’s first cross of the game into his own net while under pressure from Jacky Duek.

Jerusalem almost bounced straight back, peppering the Real Athletico goal, doing everything but score. Their best chances came when Moishe Lewis rattled the bar, followed by Akiva Zneimer having a 25-yard effort turned round the post.

Jerusalem finally got back on level terms when Gav Cohen showed some great individual skill, going past three defenders before firing a low shot that took a deflection off Dekel Itach on it’s way in.

At half time, Jerusalem’s Danny Newman made a couple of tactical changes, and within three minutes of the restart Jerusalem deservedly took the lead – and never looked back. A great move between Mordy Weiler and Lewis ended with Cohen being released to give Jerusalem a 2-1 lead.

In the 52nd minute, it was 3-1 as Lewis hit the top right-hand corner from the edge of the area with a sublime effort. Five minutes later, Lewis got his second when Weiler put him through with a superb pass. At 4-1, Jerusalem were cruising.

Real Athletico was thrown a semi-lifeline on the hour when Jerusalem took its eye off the ball. A shot rebounded into the path of ‘TJ’ Olatunji Ogunshemi who, while looking like he may have been in an offside position, played to the whistle and put the ball in the net to cut Jerusalem’s lead to 4-2.

Jerusalem took 10 minutes to regroup, with Moishe Lewis capitalizing on a defensive error to muscle his way through and slot past the ‘keeper for a 5-2 advantage.

As the game entered the last 10 minutes, Jerusalem turned on the style with two further quality goals from Lewis to take his personal tally to four and top off a memorable 7-2 victory that propelled Jerusalem back up the table, leapfrogging the competition.

Jerusalem’s joint manager Danny Newman commended his players on a great result. “Despite looking a little rusty after six weeks without a fixture over the holiday period, we didn’t do too much wrong in the first half,” he said. “However, the cobwebs came off at half time, and once we got into our stride we were a completely different side.”

Jaffa 5, Modi’in 1

Jaffa defeated Modi’in 5-1 in a good, fair game between two teams that are looking to improve on last season’s achievements.

With both teams missing key players due to injuries and suspensions, it could have gone either way. The first 20 minutes were pretty tight but eventually Jaffa took control – firstly through a class Rani Madmon free kick and a few minutes later when Mcafrey headed home a corner to make it 2-0 at half time.

The second half started in similar fashion, with Daniel Berkeley tapping in a third Jaffa goal. Modi’in then got one back. The game seemed to be poised at a crucial moment, as Modi’in looked to create momentum. However, Jaffa managed to recollect and hold on, scoring twice more.

Conor Myers got his first Jaffa goal and Rani Madmon scored a cracker toward the end, charging half-way across the pitch into the Modi’in box to seal the result.

Ashdod 3, Ra’anana 6

Ra’anana continued its excellent start to the season with an excellent comeback in Ashdod on Saturday night to win 6-3.

Ra’anana got off to an ideal start with just four minutes on the clock, when a fine team move saw Hannani Corney get in behind the defense, and Aviv Cohen dispatched the ball into the net. Ra’ananna was in control of the game for the next 15 minutes, but a mix-up in the defense saw the ball drop to the Ashdod striker, whose shot flew in off the post from 25 yards.

Almost immediately after conceding, Ra’anana regained the lead as the impressive Avia Ben Meir beat two defenders before being hauled down on the edge of the box. Up stepped Corney, who hit a perfectly placed free kick into the top left corner of the goal. Ashdod drew even at 2-2 on a penalty kick just before halftime.

Ashdod deservedly went ahead in the 55th minute and nearly extended the lead when a superb volley from the edge of the box crashed back off the bar.

In the 70th minute, Ra’anana won a free kick 30 yards from goal, and Aviad unleashed a superb strike that whistled into the top corner to level the scores. A minute later, Aviv scored a penalty and Ra’anana took the lead against a stunned Ashdod. Aviad added another two goals in the final five minutes to seal the victory.

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