Tricky Europa League draw for Hapoel

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2009

Hapoel Tel Aviv face a tricky visit to Russia to play Rubin Kazan in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.

Rubin were the surprise package of the Champions League group stages, securing a memorable victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp in October before eventually finishing third in their group.

Hapoel successfully negotiated Group C in the initial stage of the Europa League, winning the group ahead of Hamburg and eliminating Celtic in the process.

The two-leg tie will take place over a week in February, with the first leg on February 18 and the return fixture on February 25.


Five goals from Resnick keeps Hawks winning streak

By Danny Caro, December 17, 2009

Five goals from goal-poacher Joshua Resnick saw Hendon Hawks B Under 10s continue their winning streak in the MGBPFL with an 8-5 victory over Hendon Inter Schools B. David Amor (2) and Shmuli Miller completed the rout while keeper Eli Meyer saved a penalty.

London Maccabi Lions White beat Pinner JFC 11-0 in the Watford Friendly League Under 16 League Cup with goals from Yoav Kestenbaum (3), keeper Arthur Caplin (2), Sam Lewis 2, Joshua Cinna, Joel Greyson, Joel Shaw.


Atar in running for Goal of the Season

December 17, 2009

Bnei Yehuda’s Eliran Atar is in the running for FIFA’s Goal of the Season award, which will be presented in Zurich on Monday. The top-scorer in Israel’s Premier League last season, Atar, 22, netted with a superb scissors- kick against Maccabi Netanya in the 1-1 draw last February. He joins nine other contenders for the inaugural Puskas Award for the best goal scored in the world in the 2008/09 season.

Atar is up against the likes of Cristian Ronaldo, Fernando Torres, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien and Andreas Iniesta.


Eyal Berkovic lined up for Israel job

By Simon Griver, December 17, 2009

Talks which could result in Eyal Berkovic succeeding Dror Kashtan as Israel’s manager have begun.

The former Manchester City star recently met Israel FA chairman Avi Luzon and persuaded him that he is capable of leading the national team to the Euro 2012 finals.

Luzon has repeatedly insisted that Berkovic has no coaching experience so is not suitable. But he has sought to appoint a leading foreign coach after Israel ended their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign fourth behind Switzerland, Greece and Latvia.


Megabucks Sven is just a greedy fool

By Martin Samuel, December 17, 2009

Back in the eighties when Victoria Wood had her own sketch show, a regular feature was the spoof documentary, pre-dating programmes such as The Office by almost two decades. Many featured the actor Duncan Preston as presenter and reporter, Corrin Huntley.

In one, Today In Hospital, he investigated the workings of an NHS unit. A disgruntled nurse changed beds as he conducted his interview. Huntley asked what inspired her to take up nursing, and she cited the seventies hospital soap opera Angels. “And what appealed to you about that?”

“The hours, really.”

“The hours?”


Antisemitic Osasuna fans fined by FA

By Simon Griver, December 17, 2009

The Spanish FA have fined Osasuna £5,340 after their fans were found guilty of hurling antisemitic abuse towards Real Mallorca’s Israeli goalkeeper Dudu Awat in La Liga last weekend.

Referee Alvarez Izquierdo noted in his match report to the Spanish FA that the crowd at the Navarro stadium in Pamplona, chanted “Jewish bastard” every time Awat touched the ball, and that the fans only stopped their racist abuse in the second half following five requests over the public announcement system.

The fans waved Palestinian flags and also shouted “murderer” at Awat.


100th goal for George Goldberg

December 17, 2009

George Goldberg, 12, scored his 100th goal in 110 league and cup appearances for HMH Purple as HMH Purple beat HISHU 4-3 in the MGBPFL Under 13 Division One.

The win helped HMH maintain their 100 per cent. The Highgate club were always ahead and had the vast majority of possession. HMH’s scorers were Adam Ellis (2) and Aaron Benjamin.


Gregory vows no relegation for Nazareth

December 17, 2009

John Gregory insisted that Maccabi Ahi Nazareth will avoid relegation from the Israeli Premier Division despite their 1-0 home defeat to Betar Jerusalem.

The former Villa took charge of the Ligat Ha’al strugglers last week. After his first match in charge, he said: “We lacked quality, especially in attack, although the defence performed well. It’s my responsibility to improve matters.”

Gregory was forced to sit in the stands and convey messages by phone to assistant-manager Najwan Grayeb on the touchline because his contract had not been submitted to the Israel FA in time.


FC Team reach quarter-finals of London cup

December 17, 2009

FC Team reached the quarter-finals of the London FA Cup for the first time after beating Brampton Park 7-1.

They put the Essex Housing League champions to the sword in Harrow courtesy of goals from Laurence Judah, Jonny Breger and Richard Salmon were among the scorers. Irvine Howson (3) and substitute Kieran Curry Allen completed the scoring.

Mitch Young, the FC Team manager, said: “This was a stunning performance. We forced this team to capitulate with our spirit and organisation. Everyone in the squad believes that we can reach the final.


Raiders held 1-1 by Faithfold

By sasha, December 17, 2009

A goal from Danny Goldman dented North London Raiders’s title aspirations as they were held 1-1 by Faithfold in Division One of the Maccabi Masters League. Ashley Davidson struck for a Raiders team who struck the woodwork three times.

Division Two table-toppers EDRS Stonegrove came from behind to beat nearest rivals Norstar Old Boys 3-1. Steve Feiger put Norstar ahead, but a strike from Phil Silver levelled before the break. Two goals from Ian Leader completed the comeback.