Five-star Masters ease into last four

By Danny Caro in Haifa, July 17, 2009
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Masters Over 35 football – Game 3
GB 5 South Africa 1

Team GB’s Over 35 footballers romped into the semi-finals with an emphatic 51 victory over South Africa at Neve Shaanan on Thursday night.

Goals from Paul Linger (2), Darren Dryer (2) and Paul Lenchner completed an exhilarating display of fluid, attacking football on the same pitch that GB’s open team had lost against France 24 hours earlier.

Ex-Charlton midfielder Paul Linger opened the scoring early on with a superb curling free-kick into the top corner.

He did it again on 25 minutes with an audacious effort from near the corner flag. He is rapidly becoming the David Beckham of the GB squad.

With short, sharp passing order of the day, the manner of goal number three came as something of a surprise. Keeper Danny Jacobs pumped a clearance well into the SA half. The ball was flicked on into the path of London Lions’ Darren Dryer who added the finishing touch.

3-0 at half time, GB knew their place in the last four was safe, but they continued to search for goals.

Number four arrived on 50 minutes as Danny Schweiger’s pinpoint corner was met by a bullet header from Faithfold defender Paul Lenchner, who is competing at the Maccabiah for the first time.

It was soon 5-0 as Dryer netted with his second following a surge down the right. He cut in and sent a powerful shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Having brought on Lions veteran Adam Solomons at the interval, he had little to do other than distribute but he was beaten by a wickedly curling corner as SA claimed a consolation on 65 minutes.

Laurence Beck was denied a goal as a long-range cracker was deflected on to the bar but GB had done more than enough and they won in style.

GB: Danny Jacobs (sub: Adam Solomons 45), Laurence Newman (sub: Jonny Rayner), Danny Piler (capt), Andy Myers, Paul Lenchner, Tony Gold, Darren Dryer, Paul Linger, Richard Baum, Daryl Phillips, Danny Reuben. Also used: Michael Freedman

Last updated: 10:01am, July 17 2009