Football

Benayoun eyes spring comeback

By Simon Griver, December 9, 2010

Yossi Benayoun has made the first small steps towards a comeback following surgery on a torn Achilles.

The Chelsea midfielder is still a long way from fitness after suffering the injury in October.

Benayoun said: "I only recently discarded my crutches and now I am able to walk properly. It will still be some months until I'm playing again. I've started working harder now to strengthen my body so that I will return a stronger and better player."

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Avram 'on for another five years'

By Danny Caro, December 9, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: David Gold, co-owner of West Ham, wants manager Avram Grant to build a legacy at Upton Park.

The Hammers returned to the foot of the table after the 1-0 defeat against Sunderland but Gold says that both he and David Sullivan will give the Israeli time to put things right.

Grant is the bookies' favourite to be the next Premier League manager to get sacked but Gold is keen to keep faith in the former Chelsea boss.

"Historically, David Sullivan and I support our managers. I've employed more than 60 inside and outside football and am pretty good at it.

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Maccabi footballer questioned after incident

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

An amateur footballer has been arrested on suspicion of threatening players with a 12-inch knife during a Maccabi game.

Paul Samuels, player-manager of the South Mancs A side, was shown a red card for punching an opponent, but then allegedly pulled a blade out of his kit bag on the touchline.

The incident happened just before half time in his side's over-35s Maccabi Masters league game against Hendon Harriers in Edgware, north west London, on Sunday. The match was immediately abandoned.

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Late goal ends Hapoel’s Europa League hopes

By Danny Caro, December 8, 2010

Eli Guttman, manager of Hapoel Tel Aviv, praised his team after they came within two minutes of reaching the Europa League before their hopes were crushed by a late equaliser in Lyon.

Goals from Ben Sahar and a stunning over-head kick from Eran Zahavi had seen Hapoel come from behind to lead 2-1 against the former Champions League semi-finalists in this gripping Group B contest. But an 88th minute effort from Alexandre Lacazette meant that the Reds finished bottom of the group with Benfica progressing to the Europa League as third-place finishers.

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England FC close the gap

December 6, 2010

England FC moved to within two points of leaders Jaffa FC after winning the top-of-the-table clash 2-0 in the JC Olim League.

The derby was on a knife-edge until the 60th minute when Yaron Galinsky pounced from close range from a Lewis Kaye free kick to release the tension.

England, who are yet to concede this season, stood firm and as Jaffa chased an equaliser, they killed off the game 20 minutes from time. Roy Bihi finished off a free-flowing move by side-footing home at the back post.

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Zahavi scores against Colombia

By Simon Griver, December 6, 2010

Midfielder Alex Zahavi scored a debut goal for the US Under 20 team in a 1-1 draw with Colombia. Zahavi also scored in a penalty shoot-out as the US lost 4-3 to Mexico in a friendly tournament.

Zahavi has previously played for the Portugal Under 17 team but FIFA allows players under 21 to switch allegiances.

The Maccabi Haifa starlet was born in the US and has Israeli citizenship through his father and Portuguese citizenship from his mother. His late grandfather, Avraham, is a first cousin of the agent Pini Zahavi.

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Ben Haim to profit from West Ham's Manchester United mauling

By Simon Griver, December 6, 2010

Carling Cup West Ham's shock 4-0 demolition of Manchester United has dramatically changed Tal Ben Haim's prospects of staying with the club.

Ben Haim, 28, joined West Ham on a five-month loan from Portsmouth on August 3 and sources in Israel had reported that Hammers boss Avram Grant planned sending his compatriot back to Fratton Park next month.

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Joy for Joel

December 6, 2010

A solitary strike from Joel Leighton helped Hendon Hawks Rangers bounce back from consecutive defeats with a hard fought win against Redbridge in the Maccabi Junior Football League Under 11 Division.

Hawks captain Shmuli Miller put in another strong defensive display and was instrumental in creating the winner. He started a move that saw Jamie Rosen release Leighton who struck the ball into the far left-hand corner.

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Norstar sparkles again

By Danny Caro, December 6, 2010

Three goals from Simon Perlmutter helped leaders Norstar A boost their title hopes after thumping Hendon United Sports Club B 6-1 in Division Two.

Eli Houri made it five in two games with a brace, with Anthony Goodmaker completing the rout as the Stars marched seven points clear.

Hendon's goals came through Chaim Gothold and Josh Lipman.

Norstar boss Phil Peters said: "It was a great team performance."

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Accrington for Oldham's Joe Jacobson

December 6, 2010

Joe Jacobson has joined Accrington Stanley on loan until January 3. The Oldham left back was recently placed on the transfer list and he signed in time to play in 1-0 defeat FA Cup defeat at Port Vale.

Jacobson, a former Wales Under-21s captain, went to Stanley on loan in 2006 while at Cardiff.

Accrington manager John Coleman said: "Joe's a good player who we have had before. He can play in a couple of positions he's certainly comfortable on the ball and he has a good left foot. All the fans liked him when he was here first time round so I hope he enthuses them as well."

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