JC Olim League round-up
After a slow start to the season by last year's runners-up, Jerusalem roared back to life following their recent return to form with an impressive 6-1 demolition in Modi'in.
Debutant from Chile Javier Mendez’s first touch in the JC Olim League could not have been better. A pin-point pass found Eli Warner on the edge of the box and the former North West Neasden striker composed himself to slot home into the bottom corner.
However, despite this electric start, it was Modi'in who would control the next 30 minutes. Despite being roared on by the Lazarus (Aron and Jamie) boys from the touchline, and dominating the play in the middle of the park, Modi'in failed to get a single shot on the Jerusalem goal.
In a rare Jerusalem attack during this opening period, Yankie Tajtelbaum in the Modi'in goal pulled a calf muscle coming out to collect a simple ball. After a couple of minutes of stoppage, Daniel Hyman took over in goal.
Jerusalem slowly started to get a foothold although the Modi'in defence marshalled by Blueline old boy Martin Lange and some brave rearguard action by their stand-in goalkeeper kept Jerusalem at bay.
An innocuous challenge on the edge of the Modi'in box in the 42nd minute enabled Jerusalem to forge further ahead, as Miga Guar expertly placed a free kick in the bottom left hand corner.
Jerusalem added a third sucker punch a couple minutes later, just before half time, when a Warner's slide rule pass found David Zackon and the former Hendon United and Olim World Cup winner slotted the ball past Hyman in the Modi'in goal for a slightly flattering 3-0 half time scoreline.
The vistors started turning the screw after the hour mark and it was the former Modi'in front man Eran Ben Ari who put the game to bed with two quick goals in the 62nd and 65th minute to make it five without reply.
Modi'in grabbed a consolation goal in slightly dubious fashion in the 75th minute. A corner was swung in, and Francesco in the Jerusalem goal dived at the feet of an ongoing attacker to palm clear. The Modi'in player collided with the keeper leaving him floored on the ground and the ball falling free on the edge of the box. Chaim Finn collected well and buried the ball past the crowded box into the keeperless goal. Despite the protests, the goal stood.
The goal seemed to fire Modi'in back to life and for the next five minutes, they had their best spell, however the old head of former Hillgar stalwart Raffi Wreschner coupled with some timely interceptions enabled Jerusalem to regain control of the game.
Ben Ari completed his hat-trick in the 81st minute to make it 6-1.
A Jerusalem spokesman said: “This was a superb all-round team performance. Credit to Modi'in for a fair and keenly contested game. They played some great football at times, however our fitness and experience came though in the end.
“Special praise to their stand-in keeper who could not be faulted for any of the goals and even kept the scoreline down. Once we finally get back to full fitness we can continue climbing the table, back to where Jerusalem belong.”
The other game played this week ended in controversial fashion. Netanya travelled south to Ashdod for a tense encounter. The match erupted at 2-2 after Ashdod had fought back from 2-0 down.
A fiery encounter came to a premature end when Ashdod were awarded a second penalty leaving Netanya outraged. Since the resulting penalty was scored by Ashdod, they were awarded the three points despite the full 90 minutes not being completed.