Konstabler leads Maccabi London to Pesach Cup
The visiting Maccabi London Rep Team held their nerve to win the Pesach Cup after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out.
In what has now become a permanent fixture in the Anglo-Israel calendar the Pesach Cup was played on April 18 between the Maccabi London tand the Israeli Rep Team from the Olim League.
An unusually large crowd came to the Wingate stadium in Netanya on the warmest day of the year with temperatures touching 30C.
The visitors had their largest and youngest squad out with several new faces and four teenagers in the ranks.
Starting brightly, the Londoners lined up with veteran keeper and skipper Dan Jacobs between the posts and a solid back four of Rob Murray, Ben Grabiner, Max Kyte and Joel Barnett.
The midfield trio of Ben Weinberg, Elliot Espinoza and David Smouha bossed the middle of the park and with the flanks controlled by Matt Perlman and Oscar Wagman, lone striker David Dinkin had plenty of support.
Early domination soon turned into chances and after neat play from Smouha and Perlman on 20 minutes there was no complaint when Perlman was fouled in the box and a spot-kick was correctly given. The penalty was coolly slotted away by Max Kyte to give the visitors a deserved lead.
The lead was doubled after 30 minutes when great play on the left hand side by subs Joey Lazare and Joe Metliss linking with Zac Konstabler and the ever sharp Dinkin ghosted in for his customary goal.
However, with the heat affecting the visitors the Olim team got one back and this time Jacobs who had saved the day on more than one occasion stood no chance and at the interval the visitors led 2-1.
The second half started brightly and with rolling subs essential Danny Daggers and Marco Laurence adding fresh skill and legs the visitors piled on the pressure. Dutch veteran Michael Abrahams slotted into defence and the visitors kept pressing for the third goal to put the game out of sight.
But the experienced Olim team with former GB Maccabiah players Motti Colman and Nick Plotnick giving their all continued to press and with five minutes to go an equaliser came, much to the dismay of the evergreen Jacobs in the visitors goal.
The game ended even and so the Cup would be decided by the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
After five penalties and four scored by both teams, the Pesach Cup would have to be decided by sudden death.
The first for each side was successfully converted and with the Olim team missing their seventh, it was left for Konstabler to step up and win the Cup and he did not disappoint.
And so for the first time the Pesach Cup is in the hands of the Maccabi London rep team who will be returning to defend their trophy at the same time next year.