OLIM CUP FINAL
AVIV CITY 3 JERUSALEM 1
Aviv City regained the Olim Cup on Saturday night after a thrilling tussle with Jerusalem at Nes Siyona training ground.
Uri Schneider, the manager of Aviv, looked very confident ahead of the encounter. With Peter Emola and Josh King up front, he knew that he had perhaps the best striking partnership at this level and if he could get them the ball, he was almost certain of victory.
In the semi-final earlier in the week, Aviv new boy Josh King scored three goals and set up one to dump England out. It was hard to not focus on him leading up to the final - the 6ft 4" striker, who has played and scored at the highest level in Israeli football, was certainly the man to watch and Jerusalem’s manager Danny Newman was going to have to rally his troops together and come up with a good strategy in order for Jerusalem to retain the cup.
Jerusalem started the game the brighter, and their young full-back Danny Sigal was in the form of his life as he bullied King. The rare saves that Daniel Boerstra had to make in the Jerusalem goal combined with the experience of the likes of Dan Kosky, Yoel Finches and Eli Warner appeared to be edging the game for Jerusalem.
Akiva Zniemer put Jerusalem in from with an excellent free-kick just before half time - of Jerusalem’s younger attacking players, Akiva really stood out, as Amit, Daniel Cohen and Moishe Lewis were failing to make an impact on the game. Zac Lewis, who is arguably the most gifted Jerusalem player, was excellent on the ball but also not involved enough.
Aviv had enjoyed the lionsshare of possession, but Jerusalem went into the break a goal to the good.
Jerusalem now had to deal with injuries to Yoel Finches and Solomon and Aviv, who are known to be a second-half team, came out and destroyed their opponents. The central midfield pairing of Yaya and Jonathan had been excellent earlier that week in their 5-3 semi-final win over England and they proved to be the factor that swung the game in Aviv’s favor with their constant tackles, headers and quick passes.
Aviv equalised in the 61st minute with a great shot from Jonathan and then sealed their victories with two close-range efforts through man of the moment Josh King (67) and Peter Emola (81).
Aviv City’s defenders had breezed through the half, with only really Zneimer to deal with and Rob Bradman in the Aviv goal dealt expertly with any real Jerusalem threats.
Full-time and the champagne bottles, medals and trophy were handed to Aviv’s manager Uri Schneider. Yaya received the man-of-the match award and Jerusalem had a long drive home having been outclassed in the second half.
The third-place playoff took place in the build-up to the final, with Bambi and England which England won to claim another piece of silverware, but as they left the field and the finalists started warming up you could feel the tension and disappointment in the air.