Golden boys spot-on in final
They made history just by reaching the final. But the Team GB Under 16s football boys went one better by winning gold after defeating favourites Israel 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out.
The pundits had predicted that the GB boys faced a thrashing, predicting 6-0, maybe 7-0 when they kicked-off.
Instead, they held their nerve, held the Israelis to a 0-0 draw by the end of extra-time and then crushed them in the shoot-out to triumph in the tournament for the first time in Maccabiah history.
Naty Kashket, Aaron Goldman, Dominic Feldman and Adam Ellis converted from the spot and goalkeeper Jake Lewis produced two stunning stops to take the game.
Joint-managers Gavin Alexander, Adam Fegan and Jonathan Meltzer were overwhelmed by the achievement. Fegan said: "It's the greatest feeling in the world. I would have been happy just to get a medal, any medal. Everyone had written us off from the start but we knew we had a chance and now we have proved all the critics wrong.
"We practiced penalties in training and our keeper never saved one. But this time he was just fantastic."
Alexander added: “We always had belief in our players and always knew they had the stamina and strength to go up against Israel, even though everybody was telling us we were going to walk into a massacre. But now you’re gonna believe us!
"I said to the boys after beating the US in the semi-final you have made history now. Go out and do it all again and they did it!."
Maccabi GB’s Masters 35+ won themselves a fully deserved bronze medal defeating the reigning Pan-American holders, Brazil, 2-1 after extra time in a cracking match at Betar’s Bayit Vagan, with goals from Adam Kaye and Lenchner.
In the toughest and most gruelling Maccabiah Games of all time, the squad has matched Maccabi GB’s best-ever achievement at this level. Seven games in 11 days really tested them physically and mentally.