'33 ⚽️ 0-1 Ramat Gan goal
'44 🔴 Red Card: Ramat Gan
'76 ⚽️ 1-1 Facu Cervigni goal
Top row (from left to right): Sam Sank, Gato Schwalb, Ran Sarusi, Niv Gittelman, Thomy Alfie, Chebi Saidmann, Alex Yassin, Misha Marianoff, Facu Cervigni, Max Russell, Nico Grinberg, Ehud Eblagon and Zequi Lubocki,
Bottom row (from left to right): David Hovav, Mati Yelen, Yoav Greenberg, Nacho Duek, Alan Kaler, Kevin Natanzon, Kevin Packer, Nico Milieris, Dani Geron and Gabi Bruck Saturday was another outstanding achievement for us as a team. We worked hard from start to finish and earned ourselves a result that put us in the semi-finals of the IFLI Cup.
The first half of the game was very even. We defended well as a unit and our two centre-backs, Alan Kaler and Niv Gittelman, did a tremendous job on their striker. Individually, he certainly outmatched us physically, but together they held him to essentially no clear chances on goal.
One of their few clear chances came relatively early in the game when a few missed challenges allowed one of their strikers to find himself with the ball in our box. He shot it towards the far post, but Gato Schwalb’s outstretched foot deflected it wide.
Attacking wise, we kept the ball very well and were very composed in midfield. Although chances were not easy to come by, we were able to press them high and threaten them from set-pieces. However, before the half ended, they did manage to get a goal after they pounced on a rebound from a shot inside the box.
Not long after, their poorly disciplined left-back, already on a yellow card, took out Mati Yelen from behind with a terrible tackle. That led the ref to give him a second yellow, reducing Ramat Gan to 10 men on the field. Unfortunately, Mati was left injured and will be out for the rest of the cup run.
In the second half, we did lose our flow on the ball a little bit as we began to tire. Defensively, in general, we were very solid and disciplined and although they did create some chances, we were always organized and with our players in the right positions.
And, going forward, we were clinical once again. When our chance did come from a set piece, Facu Cervigni stepped up, putting a beautiful dipping ball over the wall and scoring to make it 1-1. The game would end that way in regular time and once again we found ourselves in penalties.
From the spot, we had Daniel Geron, Facu, David Hovav, Nacho Duek and Ran Sarusi all step up and convert. While on the other side, Ramat Gan missed their last kick from the spot to give us the win
Manager Zequi Lubocki said, ''Much like last week, it was great to see the team focused from the start and the energy of the team was felt throughout the match and pushed us forward. I really enjoyed seeing our friends coming out to support us and for us to get another chance to celebrate a much-deserved victory together.
''From here, we push forward now to the semi-finals against Remontada. We have another great challenge ahead and as always it all starts with preparation on our end during Wednesday’s training.''