Wolfson wonder goal caps GB win
A depleted Maccabi GB Futsal team swept a side National League side Kickers, at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in what team manager Johnny Cohen described as a "satisfactory conclusion" to the second phase of the team's preparations for the European Maccabi Games.
Missing four members of the 11-man squad due to injury and illness, the GB team knew that they would be pressed for large periods of the game and keeping possession of the ball was key if they had any hopes of success.
Unlike their last outing here, Maccabi started well and it was no surprise when Lee Bibring opened the scoring seven minutes in to the game. The South London-based team equalised a few minutes later.
The advantage of having a full 12-man squad reaped dividends. Sam Arghebant continued his rich goal scoring form by sending GB in to a 2-1 half time lead shooting low and accurately to beat to the former England National Futsal Goalkeeper at his near post.
The South Londoners - again a team made up largely of Brazilian Ex pats - as expected began the second half in determined fashion. But it did not look like they were going to score. GB keeper Danny Berliner made a series of superb saves and aided by his never-say-die defenders GB were keeping Kickers out.
Kickers equalised for a second time when the otherwise outstanding Ben Sollosi - playing as the last man - slipped and Kickers were gifted an open goal from which they made no mistake.
Exactly half way through the second half a time out was called by GB and specialist Futsal coach James Rossa used the one-minute break to urge the team to keep composure and stop rushing the game.
The break seemed to work really well for Maccabi and following a number of superb futsal moves GB moved in to a 3-2 lead - Bibring slotting home from a wonderful Sollosi cut-back.
A few minutes later the eternally youthful Dan Sugarman - who had covered every grain of the wooden surface - went on a mesmerising run leaving Kickers players in his wake. Sugarman was eventually upended in the penalty area and Arghebant converted from the resulting spot kick to make it 4-2 with seven minutes to play.
Victory was firmly sealed with two minutes to go when new squad addition Jamie Wolfson claimed the goal of the night. A thunderbolt of a half volley from the most acute angle was a fitting end to an excellent team display.
GB manager Johnny Cohen said: “Once again the boys played with a huge amount of character and heart. This time they seemed to play a lot more futsal - which was pleasing.
“We still have a way to go yet and keeping possession of the ball when under pressure is key if we want to do well in Vienna.
“Overall we are half way through our preparations and I am satisfied that we are heading in the right direction."