‘15 ⚽️ 1-0 Max Mzhen goal, Ilan Flax assist
‘42 ⚽️ 2-0 Vlad Kart goal, Mono Bechini assist
‘52 ⚽️ 2-1 Shikun Vatikim goal
‘75 ⚽️ 3-1 Yuri Nucenovich goal, Vlad Kart assist
Top row (from left to right): Ricardo Horvath, Sebastian Israel, Thomy Alfie, Alon Zurita, Gaston Hilman, Ron Sharifi, Mono Bechini, Fernando Zatz, Evgeny Kart, Vlad Kart, Oded Puzis, Isaac Kahtan, Eli Falkon, Pablo Zayat, Daniel Cabral, Gianni Conti, Aron Soloducho, Borja Lema and Ary Erdman.
Bottom row (from left to right): Yuri Nucenovich, Tomi Kehana, Samuel Hazins, Andy Gabay, Sam Sank, Ori Hatuka, Jeremy Tenenbaum, Max Mzhen, Ilan Flax and Gabriel Terkieltaub.
The penultimate game of the season couldn't have been more fitting as we hosted our longstanding and bitter rivals, Shikun Vatikim Ramat Gan, knowing that a win would all but secure a history Liga Gimmel championship.
We had failed to beat Shikun in 6 seasons but finally broke our duck earlier on this year with a 5-0 win. Yet, we remained cautious ahead of the return fixture on Monday, knowing that our rivals would do everything in their power to end our title aspirations.
Max Mzhen was rewarded with a start in midfield following his good form of late, with the American sitting in front of a familiar defence and Yuri Nucenovich maintaining his place in the starting XI.
We showed our intention early on, playing fast, flowing football and being aggressive with our opponents, who were not shy themselves to try and physically intimidate us.
The opening goal came from a corner, with Ilan Flax's cross met by Max at the far post and his header looped over the Shikun goalkeeper into the top corner to give us a deserved lead.
Just before half time, the lead was doubled by none other than Vlad Kart, who beat a couple of defenders before firing the ball low and hard into the bottom corner to get his 41st goal of the season and remain on course for the league's Golden Boot.
Any expectation of a straightforward second half was dashed by a Shikun goal just after half time, following a mix up in the back but we maintained our composure and pushed to restore our two-goal advantage.
The third goal would come, thanks to a brilliant run from Yuri, who played a one-two with Vlad, before powering forward to clinch all three points as Shikun's resolve was broken.
With rivals Hapoel Tzafririm watching from the stands, we got our 19th consecutive win to move back to the top of the table with just a single match remaining this season.
Victory against bottom-placed Maccabi Pardes Katz will crown us as the 2022/23 Liga Gimmel champions and confirm promotion to Liga Bet for next season. 1 final to go...