England FC rounded off a superb second half of the season with a commanding 2-0 victory over Inter Tel Aviv in the final of the Olim Cup last Saturday.
With the win, England adds another trophy to its cabinet after returning the Pesach Cup to Israel.
The final kicked off just as the FA Cup final at Wembley between Arsenal and Aston Villa was drawing to a close, with almost as much English talent on show.
England FC was bolstered by the return to midfield of Motti Colman, while Inter was missing its dominant center-back and captain, Sam Sank.
With both teams set up in similar 4-3-3 formations, both sides were plagued by nerves in an edgy first half. England dominated possession, but failed to make it count. Inter was finding it hard to penetrate the strong England midfield and defense, led by Yoni Sidi and Tomer Zaban, who, along with the rest of the England back five, completed their successful cup run without conceding a single goal.
The best chance of the half fell to Zac White, but his volley from a cross by right back Yonni Shelmerdine was just off-target.
The start of the second half saw England pick up where it left off at the end of the first half. Yuval Rupin, playing his last match for England FC, came on at left back. Despite Inter’s Ayerton causing the England midfield quite a few problems, most of Inter’s attacks ended up in long balls that, in light of the current form of the England defense, caused little disturbance.
As the game wore on, England started piling on the pressure. Colman was only denied by an incredible goalline stop after some lovely movement inside the Inter penalty area. And it was not long before England finally made their possession count. Some nice build-up play saw Shelmerdine thread a great ball into new boy Louis Libbert, who finished with aplomb, smashing the ball into the bottom corner. 1-0 England.
England didn’t stop there, and just after the 80th minute, another great move started by Colman ended with a selfless cross from Shelmerdine, leaving White with a simple tap-in. 2-0 England.
With the game drawing to a close, emotions were running high. A rush of blood to the head resulted in Inter’s goalkeeper being sent off after taking a swing at Zaban. In injury time, England keeper Roy made his first real save of the match, to deny a great header from an Inter striker.
As the final whistle sounded, the England players ran to celebrate with their small but loyal group of fans.
Final Score: England FC 2, Inter Tel Aviv 0
A delighted England FC manager, Terry Newman, said, “What a remarkable achievement from a remarkable bunch of boys. We have turned around the season and finished with two pieces of silverware. Next season, we will be aiming for the league also.”
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