It's GB versus Germany for gold
GB Open football confirmed their place in tomorrow’s gold medal match against Germany with an emphatic 8-1 victory over the hosts at SK Hakoah.
James Gershfield fired a double to take his tally to six goals in the competition. TJ Keterman bagged a brace with other goals coming from Michael Sacks, Daran Bern, Ben Ellis and a worldie from Adam Stolerman.
GB went into the game knowing that they would reach the final if they avoided defeat and the result was never in doubt after Keterman opened the scoring around the 10 minute mark.
A team missing Dan Cole, who broke his arm against Mexico yesterday, was hit by the late withdrawal of David Soutar. He was replaced in the starting XI by Ben Lauffer.
GB had a chance to double their lead but the usually reliable Aron Barnes shanked his penalty wide.
Ben Winston’s men held a 3-0 lead at the interval and it became a procession as they went on to bag five more in the second half with Austria snatching a consolation.
The win means GB will face Germany, who won their group on goal difference, at SK Hakoan tomorrow afternoon.
“Austria were not a great opponent, as we predicted,” said GB boss Ben Winston. “We produced a very professional performance and it was very important to come through unscathed, without any silly injuries or suspensions so that we can focus fully on tomorrow’s final.
“We played two-touch football and our goals were of a high quality as they have been throughout the competition. In four games we have scored 20 goals which has come as a result of our work in training which has really paid off.”
Winston reserved special praise for Adam Stolerman. “He is a massive support to the players and his experience is vital. He produced a fantastic finish and did really well.
“It was a good day at the office – a really strong team performance and shows what a strong unit we have.
“Whatever medal we win, I know that every player has played a really big role which is very rare for a squad. Hopefully it will be gold rather than silver.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s crunch clash, Winston added: “I know my team for the final. The fact that David Soutar is ill in bed is a concern but I will have to check his condition with the doctor tomorrow morning.
“Now it’s all about the final. Playing five games in six days, we knew that we’d lose some players while others will get tired.
“The mood in the camp is one of real determination. We have to go one better than the last Maccabiah and win gold.
“We’ve watched Germany a few times and will show the boys a few clips tomorrow. They are a very strong and powerful side. They are very different to Mexico and they have a slight advantage as they’ve had an extra day’s rest so there are a few things in their favour, but we didn’t expect to come here and have a stroll.
“Germany are a big, strong side who are strong in the air although technically, they are not as skilful as some of the other teams we’ve been up against.
“I’m really looking forward to it and am very excited. If we were to win gold, what better way than by beating the Germans.”
GB: Dan Lee, Michael Sacks, Ben Lauffer, Craig Ellis, Aron Barnes, Paul Babai, George Fierstone, Daniel Stanton, Daran Bern, Ben Ellis, TJ Keterman. Subs: Matt Davis, Guy Morris, James Gershfield, Matt Stock, Adam Stolerman
Scorers: TJ Keterman (2), James Gershfield (2), Daran Bern, Michael Sacks, Ben Ellis, Adam Stolerman