‘19 ⚽ 0-1 Spartak goal
’28 ⚽ 0-2 Spartak goal
'58 ⚽ 1-2 Renan ''Gili'' Prais goal, Andy Gabay assist
'67 ⚽ 2-2 Vlad Kart goal, Renan ''Gili'' Prais assist
'75 ⚽ 3-2 Evgeny Kart goal, Renan ''Gili'' Prais assist
Top row (from left to right): Eli Falkon, Mono Bechini, Daniel Carbal, Gaston Hilman Fratesi, Andy Gabay, Fernando Zatz, Beni Polnauer, Vlad Kart, Nadav Izmirli, Gianni Conti, Ron Sharifi and Maurizio Patti
Bottom row (from left to right): Ricky Horvath, Allan Camarov, Sam Sank, Evgeny Kart, Ariel Peretz, Renan ''Gili'' Prais and Roey Sartov.
The 2021/22 Liga Gimmel season kicked off in the most dramatic fashion possible, as we came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to score three unanswered second-half goals and come away with the win.
Interim Head Coach Eli Falkon had a depleted squad to work with as we travelled to Petach Tikva on Thursday night to take on Spartak Ramat Gan, with only 14 registered players available.
Nonetheless, we looked comfortable from the get-go, dominating possession and finding space in between Spartak's lines. We tested their keeper on a number of occasions in the opening 20 minutes with Renan ''Gili'' Prais and both twins Vlad and Evgeny Kart firing on goal.
Yet, it was Spartak who broke the deadlock with their first chance of the game. A move down their left saw Gianni Conti forced into a save, with the Spartak striker reacting quickest to the rebound and scoring the game's opener.
It went from bad to worse as an Inter corner turned into a Spartak counter-attack, which was not stopped by our remaining defenders, leaving a one-on-one situation to give our opponents a shocking 2-0 lead.
As the halftime whistle blew, it seemed incomprehensible that we were 2-0 down despite dominating the game but we failed to take our chances and were facing a hugely disappointing start to the season.
Eli kept calm and half time and instructed the team to do the same and continue to be patient with our play, knowing that one goal could swing the momentum and put us in a good place to win the game. He was right.
Gianni didn't have a save to make the entire second half as we pushed forward to get ourselves back in the game and the goal was a special one indeed. a delightful cross-field ball from Andy Gabay found ''Gili'' on the right-wing, who cut inside on his favoured left foot before sending a curled shot into the top corner.
The goal gave us the push to continue and we had multiple chances, with Sam Sank hitting the bar from a header, while Roey Sartov, ''Gili'' and Vlad all tested the keeper. The equaliser came again from the right-hand side, as ''Gili'' beat his man to find Vlad who finished into the bottom corner.
Our substitutions were impactful with veterans Ariel Peretz and Beni Polnauer coming on and the latter made a crunching tackle on the halfway line late in the game to send ''Gili'' down the right again. The Brazilian beat his man and found Evgeny bursting into the box, with the Russian full-back finding the net to send the Inter bench into ecstasy.
Spartak barely threatened us with any late drama and the win was sealed. An important way to start the season.