The Mundial 2014 tournament — this year in memory of Mordechai Cohen, has four teams left vying for victory in the final: England, headed by Motti Colman and Nick Plotneck; Nigeria, led by Peter Emola and Magalan Awala; Uruguay, managed by Roli Turner and Nacho Nuchovich and Israel, with Eran Ben David as captain.
These four teams showed so far the best organization, some great defenses and wonderful efficacy in the penalty area.
In the quarterfinals we had the chance to see one really great match between France and Nigeria, with Jonathan Guirchonn and Jim Amram bringing France to the lead, but then two goals by Magalan Awala, the best scorer so far of the tournament, took both teams to penalties. Three perfect shots by Nigeria led the Africans into the semifinals, against the last year’s champions.
On another pitch, while rockets were falling on the Tel Aviv area and both teams were defining their strategies under the Goaltime shelters, Bolivia had some good chances against England, but the European team played perfect 5-a-side soccer, very well organized and with a solid defense. England won 6-1 and qualified against Israel, which had a great performance against Holland with a final result of 9-3. Ben Levy and Nissim Deri were the best players for Israel, while for Holland the injury of Daan Bakker was too hard to manage.
The U.S. team made it into the top eight, but the schedule put them up against the South American 2013 winners, and that was mission impossible for Jerome Katz’s team. Final result 9-1 for Uruguay.
The final will be played Thursday July 31 at Goaltime Arena in Tel Aviv.