Capital gains for Jerusalem
JERUSLAM 3 MODIIN 2
Jerusalem climbed above Modi'in into third place in the Olim League table following this hard-fought victory in the capital.
On a wet night in Katamon, Jerusalem took another valuable three points in their surgeup the table, but it was Modi'in who started the brighter. After a few half chances for both sides, Modi'in's midfield started controlling the game, and on 15 minutes, only a last-gasp clearance from Yoel Finches kept the visitors at bay.
Modi'in thought they had a penalty a few minutes later as one of their players took a tumble in the box, but the infringement took place just outside, with the momentum taking the player down in the box.
Modi'in upped the tempo and were rewarded on the half hour for their dominant play when Yonatan Journo finished off a great move, slotting in the cross for a well deserved lead.
Instead of going for the killer second, Modi'in seemed to take their foot off the gas, and allowed Jerusalem to get back into the game. Amit Dinowitz equalised on 36 minutes - finishing a well-worked team goal.
Both sides followed with a few good shots from distance, but Jerusalem finished the half the stronger, and two minutes before the interval, Gav Cohen realeased Lollu Hibbert on the wing who cut the ball into the path of Moishe Lewis who made no mistake to make it 2-1 to Jerusalem.
With the bit between Jerusalem's teeth, they almost squeezed a third before the half-time whistle, only for Dinowitz and then Daniel Cohen to be denied by some great keeping by Iliyah Kovalov in the Modi'in goal.
Jerusalem started the second half as they finished the first, only to be denied by a couple of good saves by Kovalov. With 53 minutes on the clock, Modi'in had a strong appeal for a penalty, when the ball struck Solomon Emekle Eze's raised hand. Whilst everyone felt the offence had taken place inside the box, but the ref awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. With Modi'in feeling aggrieved, Jerusalem countered directly from the set-piece, breaking with pace. Hibbert's cross was dummied by Daniel Cohen leaving Lewis with a simple finish for his second and Jerusalem's third.
Where most teams would have crumbled, Modi'in slowly lifted themselves, and trying to chase the game were by far the dominant side in the last 20 minutes, only to be denied by a number of great saves by Daniel Boerstra in the Jerusalem goal, and a clearance from Calev Ben Dor off the line.
With Modi'in pushing to get back in the game, Lewis almost clinched his hat-trick on a counter-attack, but put the ball wide. Moments later Dan Kosky almost scored Jerusalem's fourth, when he had the luxury of a free-header from a corner, but somehow headed over.
With the game seeming to be running away from Modi'in, they were thrown a life line in the 86th minute, when Finches was adjudged to have brought down their attacker as he went for the by-line. Shlomi Levi calmly slotted the penalty in for 3-2.
With the ref indicating three minutes of injury time, Modi'in tried to get the equaliser, but the Jerusalem back line held strong for a very hard earned 3-2 win.
Jerusalem's joint manager Danny Newman was relieved at the final whistle. He said: "After last week's nine-goal demolition of Real Jerusalem, it was inevitable that we would be brought back down to earth, and Modi'in's midfield were superb. For large chunks they out-played us.
"Modi'in will feel hard done by, not getting the penalty for the hand ball, but as we saw with Howard Webb, - even the so-called top refs get key decisions wrong. They are a quality side, but our boys kept plugging away, and controlled the key parts of the game, to give us the two-goal cushion, that ultimately proved crucial against a quality opposition.
"It is another three points in the bag as we push for a top three finish for yet another year."
Daniel Boerstra, Yoel Finches, Solomon Emekle Eze, Dan Kosky, David Preston, Akiva Zneimer, Gav Cohen, Lollu Hibbert, Amit Dinowitz, Daniel Cohen, Moishe Lewis. Subs: Yigal Grayeff, Calev Ben Dor, Chaim Lev
Goals: Dinowitz (36), Lewis (43, 54)
Booking: Yoel Finches
Modi'in: Iliyah Kovalov, Gal Bitan, Yossi Pedalon, Ilan Shmueli, Adam Bruce, Shlomi Levi, Omri Enckaoua, Matan Kroizer, Yaron, Beni Sragif, Itai Saidoff, Adi Meiyuri, Amichai Friedman, Nadav Shema, Yonatan Journo
Goals: Journo (30), Levi (86 pen)