RAANANA 2 MODIIN 3
Modiin maintained their title challenge with a nail-biting 3-2 victory over Raanana thanks to strikes from Moshe Lianido, TJ and Yoni Reiner.
There was little to separate the two teams as the game started off at a frantic pace. Both teams has good efforts, but it was Modiin that eventually broke the deadlock, as new signing Moshe Lianido lobbed home in the 20th minute.
Raanana continued their free-flowing attacking football and were awarded a penalty after a Modiin defender was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. The league's top goal-scorer Aviad Ben Meir stepped up and was relieved to see his shot trickle into the net despite the Modiin keeper getting a hand to it.
Raanana continued applying pressure, once hitting the bar, but they were still unable to score the vital second goal.
Modiin responded five minutes before half time as Yonatan Yourno crossed from the left and another new signing TJ was able to steer his header into the back of the net.
In the second half, Modiin come out the stronger, playing lovely one-touch passes all over the pitch. Their style of football was rewarded as Reiner scored to put Modiin 3-1 ahead.
However, Raanana were far from finished and benefitted from a misplaced Modiin pass as Nathan Ben Ari pulled a goal back for them.
This resulted in a nervy final 10 minutes for both teams and Raanana had a chance in the last minute to draw level, but Modiin keeper Iliyah Kovalov made an outstanding save at his near post.
Modiin co-manager's Jamie Lazarus and David Bruce were ecstatic with their teams performance. "We had a few new players tonight and they slotted in just perfectly into our system and style of play" said Bruce.
Lazarus added: " This is a massive result for the lads. Raanana have a great team, but we showed amazing character to hold on for the victory."