Top row (from left to right): Roey Sartov, Beni Polnauer, Daniel Herszenhaut, Mono Bechini, Fekade Golantau, Evgeny Kart, Gaston Hilman, Dandy Okougo, Ricardo Horvath, Azanao Aristo, Gianni Conti, Leo Gewertz, Ariel Peretz and David Pernitchi.
Bottom row (from left to right): Ron Sharifi, Renan Prais, Allan Camarov, Vlad Kart, Sam Sank, Fernando Zatz, Gaston Fratesi and Nadav Izmirli.
Our 4th match of the 2021/22 Liga Gimmel season pitted us against the league leaders and our local rivals, Hapoel Naveh Golan, who had a 100% record going into the game. The fixture also marked David Pernitchi’s first as Head Coach, with the Argentinian completing his first full week in the new position. David chose the same XI that started against Elitzur Yafo in last week’s 6-1 victory.
Our matches against Naveh Golan are always an aggressive affair and this fixture was no different with both sides testing the other's physicality in what seemed at times like both a chess and a wrestling match rather than a football game.
The first half ended without much action, both teams failed to carve out many clear cut chances. With so much at stake, the midfield became a battleground and neither team was prepared to risk too much going forward in the fear of conceding the first goal.
At halftime, David Pernitchi made two substitutions, bringing on both Nadav Izmirli and Gaston Hilman, and switched to a 5-3-2 formation in a bid to contain Naveh Golan's colossal front line. The change had its effect as our defence did well to limit our opponents to a few rare headers at goal, one of which, in the final minutes of the match, keeper Gianni Conti did well to keep out of the goal after it hit the crossbar.
As the full-time whistle blew and the war finally came to a conclusion, it was a well-earned point against the team that had led the league so far and the first time we kept a clean sheet in the league this year.
Next Friday, we take on Bnei Yehud away in another crucial clash as we aim to stay in touch with the teams at the top of the table.