Jerusalem topped Rainball Tel Aviv 8-3 to move up to second place, leapfrogging Jaffa, which lost to crosstown rival Inter Tel Aviv 2-0 last weekend. Elsewhere, Ashdod doubled up on Modi’in 2-1.
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Jerusalem 8, Rainball Tel Aviv 3
On a bitterly cold night in the capital, Jerusalem moved up to second thanks to another convincing win. Jerusalem is tied on 22 points with Jaffa and Inter Tel Aviv, after Inter topped Jaffa 2-0 in last weekend’s derby to claim city bragging rights. However, it has a vastly superior goal difference over the other two.
Jerusalem went into this fixture in the knowledge that despite being rock bottom, Rainball has run a few teams close in recent weeks thanks to a few new signings. Straight from the off, Jerusalem threatened Rainball’s player-manager Ron Cohen in goal, but any shot was met by an even better save. The breakthrough came a little after 10 minutes, when Gav Krieger was gifted a free header from Itamar Kornfeld’s superb corner to head in his first goal of the season.
With Rainball looking rather susceptible from crosses, Moishe Lewis was able to poke home the easiest of finishes from another cross a few minutes later.
It wasn’t long until Jerusalem got a third. Another Kornfeld corner was this time headed in by Zack Lewis, and almost immediately after the restart three became four, this time Lewis being provider, as a clever flick found Eyal Toledo to score his first of the season.
Jerusalem kept attacking, but a mixture of quality defending, great goalkeeping and poor finishing (including an open goal), kept the score down. The inevitable fifth came as Moishe Lewis found the extra yard to slip his marker and blast the ball past Cohen for his second of the night.
With the half petering out, an uncharacteristic error from Daniel Boerstra in the Jerusalem goal allowed Yochai Cohen the chance to score his second goal of the season in only his second appearance for Rainball, the first conceded by Jerusalem in 225 minutes of soccer, leaving the halftime score 5-1.
Rainball would get no further, as two quick-fire goals put the game to bed. Zack Lewis provided the perfect pass for Dan Cohen to expertly slot the ball into the corner, and within 60 seconds from the restart, Cohen unselfishly reciprocated to allow Zack Lewis to slot into an empty net for his second.
Eliot Tubul later scored for Rainball, while Moishe Lewis completed his hat-trick with just over 10 minutes to go. Tubul made a great strike in the dying seconds to grab a late consolation for Rainball.
“Rainball are definitely getting stronger, and the way they tried to get themselves back in the game, even at 7-1 down, is highly commendable,” said Jerusalem’s joint manager, Danny Newman.
Classy Inter edges out local rival
In what was a tight and feisty affair, Olim League newcomers Inter Tel Aviv secured an impressive double for the season over Jaffa, following last weekend’s victory. At both side’s home pitch it was Inter who came away with all three points to put themselves level pegging with Jaffa, but with a game in hand. Although the title seems unlikely, Inter have at least put themselves in with an outside chance if they continue to win all their games.
The away side scored on what was their first attack. James Fattal, so often the provider, curled in a beautiful corner which was turned home on the half-volley by Inter’s lone frontman Mike Langer.
Despite going behind early, Jaffa had the better of the half and pressed continuously. Having won the battle in the midfield they searched for the equalizer for the entire half, and almost found it when Josh Bar was through on goal, but the striker dragged his shot wide. The half continued in the same fashion, but every Jaffa attempt at goal was equally met by Inter’s faultless keeper, Sam Friedman.
Inter were lucky to go into the break with the advantage, and manager Jerome Katz made sure they knew this as he sent his side back out following his half-time team talk. It worked wonders. The team in black came out fighting and arguably produced the best half of football all season. With Airton Manuel and Manu Schultz providing the attacking prowess, it looked as if it were only a matter of time until Inter doubled the lead.
Martin Orson, who had replaced Langer up front, was the man to get his side’s second goal, after he took advantage of a mix-up at the back for Jaffa before powering home with his left foot into the bottom corner.
To Jaffa’s credit they continued to press, but the sturdy Inter defense seemed determined to earn a third clean sheet of the season. Dan Berkley and Bar had chances to halve the deficit, but Sam Sank was at hand on both occasions with outstretched blocks. In the end, Inter’s grit and determination, coupled with their quick, attractive style of play shone through and gave them a victory to savor.