Jaffa’s terrible start to the season ended with a pulsating 6-4 win over revamped Athletico Jerusalem on Saturday night. Athletico's crosstown rival Jerusalem fared no better, losing 4-2 at MS Bambi.
The Jaffa game started at a furious pace, and Jaffa went ahead within 11 minutes. A clever through ball from Rani Madmon saw Liverpool born-Josh Silverberg score his first goal for visiting Jaffa. A few minutes later, Silverberg scored again, nodding a Nir Ha’Cohen corner in.
Jaffa was looking to kill the game when a hotly disputed penalty was buried by Athletico’s Carlos Mazzini. Minutes later, Yonatan Journo equalized when his shot wasn’t handled by Jaffa’s goalkeeper, Omer Devir. With Jaffa deflated, Athletico pushed on, but a superb individual run by Ha’Cohen was buried by Sam Silverberg, giving Jaffa a slender 3-2 lead at halftime.
Within 30 seconds after the restart, another Ha’Cohen pass found Madmon one on one with the keeper. The striker left Daniel Boestra with no chance, giving Jaffa a two-goal cushion. Athletico responded within a minute through Netanel Fattal, and six minutes later an unstoppable shot from Inon Nissim knotted the score at 4-4.
Both teams continued to push forward in this exciting affair, looking for a winner. Josh Silverberg would settle the game with a smart finish off a corner to get his hat trick, and a two-goal cushion was again restored by a smart Madmon finish off a Sam Silverberg pass. At the final whistle, Jaffa had won 6-4, leaving both teams with a 1-0-3 record.
Athletico Assistant Coach David Bernstein said after the game “It was 4-4 with 20 minutes to go and we threw it away by being both mentally and physically not good enough. The league is very competitive this year, and I expect a much more focused approach when we face our local rival Real Jerusalem next Saturday night.”
Bambi's match against Jerusalem started at a good pace. In the first half, Jerusalem broke past Bambi with a long ball for the first score. Bambi then began to press as Bar Blumberg and Aviv Zemer both scored.
Jerusalem equalized early in the second half with a beautiful shot from outside the box. Bambi responded by again attacking aggressively and scored twice, with Blumberg adding his second and Gil also getting onto the score sheet.
“It was a very competitive match and there were plenty of chances created by both teams," Bambi manager Yoni Sarig said after the match. "We now go into our second week at the top of the table and as I have said before, we plan on staying there.”
Elsewhere, Modi'in continued its fine form with a 5-2 mauling of Ashdod. Real Jerusalem added to England's woes beating them 5-2 and leaving the defending champion at the bottom of the table with almost a quarter of the season played. Ra'anana and Aviv played out a fiercely contested 3-3 draw that saw Aviad Ben Meir again score a hat trick.