JAFFA 2 AVIV CITY 1
FC Jaffa continued their strong run with their third win in the last five games beating an Aviv City team that included celebrity debutant Aki Avni.
All the goals were scored in a frantic first half which saw both teams constantly attacking. Aviv broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when the excellent Peter Emolla, who fed the ball into the box for Naor Lisha to beat debutant Gilad Becker with a well placed shot.
Jaffa were creating opportunities and eventually found the equaliser through Nir Ha’Cohen, who collected an Eyal Hoffman pass and expertly finished past Rob Bradman.
With half-time approaching, Rani Madmon broke into the box and was felled by Ari Kahn. Ha’Cohen made no mistake with the spot kick to give Jaffa a 2-1 lead.
The second half saw Aviv get the upper hand. Emolla was at the heart of most of their attacks, and he saw his brilliant free-kick expertly deflected onto the post by Becker.
With Aviv pouring more and more men forward, Jaffa countered and found Bradman in excellent form as he saved goal-bound shots from Ha’Cohen and Sam Silverberg.
There was a late scare for Jaffa as Aviv had a strong penalty shout turned down by the ref deep into stoppage time and the hosts were relieved to hear the final whistle.
"It was a critical win for us," an ecstatic Simon Berkley commented after the game. "We still want to be in the running for a top four finish and wins like this will give us that opportunity."
Man-of-the-match Nir Ha’Cohen was happy with the team’s effort. He said: "We gave everything for 90 minutes and we deserved this win. We’re looking forward to Modi’in this coming weekend."