Jerusalem are the real deal
REAL JERUSALEM 0 JERUSALEM 4
A patched-up Jerusalem team, missing key defenders, put in an excellent performance to cruise past local rivals Real Jerusalem 4-0.
Following the disappointment of last week's cup final defeat, Jerusalem returned to winning ways with an imperious display.
Real Jerusalem started the match in second spot, and were near full-strength - albeit missing the influential Jacky Duek to a knee injury - knowing that victory would guarantee them the runners up spot in their debut season in the league.
Jerusalem were missing a few key players with injuries, and with no subs, struggled to name 11 fit players. However, due to the tightness of the league this season, and with games in hand due to another strong cup run, Jerusalem knew that a win over the league's highest-scorers, would propel them up the table, in their quest for a top two finish.
Jerusalem slowly got on top and the breakthrough came midway through the half when Akiva Zneimer was put through and from the edge of the area executed an expert lob over Francisco Salgado in the Real goal for a deserved lead.
Real almost hit straight back only for their effort to be ruled out for offside. A minute later, they were kept out by a great double save from Daniel Boerstra in the Jerusalem goal.
That served as a wake-up call, and in the 28th minute, Daniel Cohen was released and made no mistake, slotting the ball into the left-hand corner with a great finish from just outside the area. 2-0.
Jerusalem had a couple of good efforts as they finished the half the stronger.
The second half started in the same vein the first ended. Jerusalem all but ended the game as a contest when a great team move released Cohen down the left, and he selflessly cut the ball back to Zneimer to pass the ball into the back of the net, for his second and Jerusalem's third of the night.
Zneimer had a few chances to complete his hat-trick, only to be denied by the goalkeeper. He came closest in the 68th minute, but the Real was rescued by the woodwork.
In what was becoming exhibition football, Jerusalem made it four when Amit Dinowitz's clever pass released Gav Cohen, and after skipping past the defender, he managed to squeeze the ball into the net from a tight angle with a little over 15 minutes left to play.
Lollu Hibbert was forced off with a little over 10 minutes to go, and despite not having any subs, it was the 10-man Jerusalem who looked more likely to add to the score. The 4-0 final result means that Real Jerusalem have dropped down to third, while Jerusalem are up to fourth.
At the final whistle, Jerusalem's manager commended his weakened side for such a dominant performance. "This is only the 2nd time the entire season, Real have failed to score. We knew that with a few injuries picked up last week, and other absentees, the key would be the defence.
"The available players picked themselves, and despite playing with only one recognised central defender, we looked very comfortable at the back, keeping their big guns quiet. Once we knew the battle against their potent strikeforce was won, we started turning the screw.
"All four goals were quality tonight, and we were good money for the win. Despite missing key personal, this was one of our best performances this season. With the teams in second and third having completed their games - a top two finish in firmly in our own hands, as we still have two games to play."
Real Jerusalem: Francisco Salgado, Asael Levin, Yotam Levi, Lior Arussi, Eden Sharma, Alon Rachamin, Harel Rachmani, Yotam Bezalel, Eliran Levi, Mario Gayan, Meni Duek, Nati Hasson, Oz Iamin
Jerusalem: Daniel Boerstra, Yoel Finches, Dan Kosky, Lollu Hibbert, David Preston, Yigal Grayeff, Eli Warner, Gav Cohen, Akiva Zneimer, Amit Dinowitz, Daniel Cohen
Goals: Akiva Zneimer 25, 47; Daniel Cohen 28; Gav Cohen 74