JC Olim League round-up
With the JC Olim season in Israel coming to a low key end in the league, the teams attention turns to the cup.
This week paired Jaffa against Jerusalem in a repeat of last weeks league game in Jerusalem,
After last week’s goal-fest between these two sides in the league, Jerusalem and Jaffa FC met at the quarter final stage. The game started brightly with both teams pushing forward looking for opportunities.
Jaffa’s first break of the game ended with a dubious penalty awarded that caught even the Jaffa players off guard. After furious Jerusalem protests abated, Nir Ha'Cohen gave the keeper little chance with a powerful strike.
With the momentum on their side, Jaffa pushed forward looking for another goal and were duly rewarded within a few minutes when Rani Madmon buried a tight angled shot over Jerusalem's keeper.
2-0 down, Jerusalem dug deep and starting creating chances to score. Their breakthrough came from a corner, when a headed clearance landed at David Moccata's feet. His long-range shot found its way into the top left corner.
Both teams continued to look for goals but the score remained 2-1 until the half time.
Jerusalem poured attackers forward in search of an equaliser at the beginning of the second half. A shot by David Zackon was calmly dealt with by Avram Piha, before Jaffa managed to increase their lead. A beautifully weighted free kick by Simon Berkley was nodded back across goal by Daniel Berkeley, leaving Madmon with a simple header.
Berkeley's presence on the pitch galvanised Jaffa, who had only last week seen their charsimatic Scottish talisman on crutches. Despite the goal, Jerusalem continued looking for a breakthrough and thought they had it on a corner, until Seth Freedman powerfully cleared the ball off the line.
Another excellent counter attack by Jerusalem put David Preston through, but his goal-bound shot was brilliantly parried around the post by Piha, preserving Jaffa's two-goal cushion.
Despite Jerusalem's non-stop onslaught, every danger was neutralised by Jaffa's new centre-back partnership of Nir Madmon and Rob Pearl. With Jerusalem committing more men forward, another clever pass by Berkeley found Ha'Cohen free, and Jaffa's right-winger ended the tie with a powerful low finish.
The 4-1 scoreline sees Jaffa progress to the semi finals, where they will be facing Modi'in AFC
The real controversy this week happened when the league governing board decided to throw Ashdod out of the league. Reasons cited were repeated violence culminating in a recent off pitch fight and game abandonment.
This throws the league into slight chaos with the league schedule having to be rearranged accordingly. The league is now on the look out for new teams to enter next season.