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Inter Blue 3-3 (5-4 on Penalties) Sparta Ashkelon: Quarter Finals Await After Penalty Shootout Win

'25 ⚽️ 1-0 Facu Cervigni goal, Mati Yelen assist

'56 ⚽️ 1-1 Sparta Ashkelon goal

'64 ⚽️ 2-1 Nacho Duek goal, Alex Yassin assist '70 ⚽️ 3-1 Facu Cervigni goal, Nacho Duek assist

'78 ⚽️ 3-2 Sparta Ashkelon goal

'80 🔴 Red Card: Sparta Ashkelon

'85 ⚽️ 3-3 Sparta Ashkelon goal

Top row (from left to right): Zequi Lubocki, Gato Schwalb, Uriel Benita, Nacho Duek, Facu Cervigni, Mati Yelen, Ran Sarusi, Thomy Alfie, Chebi Saidman, Niv Gittelman, Martin Lagman, Tom Printac, Misha Marianoff, Max Russell, Nico Grinberg and Sam Sank.

Bottom row (from left to right): Ricky Horvath, Gabi Bruck, Alan Kaler, Kevin Packer, Nico Milieris, Dani Geron, Alex Yassin, David Hovav, Daniel Rubio, Didi Hovav, Titi Cabuli and Ehud Eblagon.

Saturday’s IFLI Cup Round of 16 fixture was a simply outstanding performance. We led for much of the game and although we suffered a comeback during regular time, we ultimately came on top in penalties and get ourselves to the quarter-finals.

In the first half, we were by far the better team. We pressed them high and created many turnovers in the attacking third. We kept the ball well and were very organized in defence.

Our first goal of the match came from a through ball from Mati Yelen to Facu Cervigni. Facu ran across the backline, Mati played him through, he then dribbled at a defender and shot hard to squeeze the ball in from a tough angle. Deservedly we finished the half 1-0 up.

In the second half, the game was a roller coaster. We came out playing very well once again and were unfortunate to receive a goal, which came from a powerful hit after a poor clearance resulting from a wide free-kick.

After that, we regained momentum and scored two quick goals. First, Alex Yassin picked up the ball on the attacking third. He found Nacho Duek who was in a good offensive position. Nacho dribbled towards the edge of the 18-yard box and took a hard low shot to put it past the keeper and put us up 2-1.

Not too long after that, Nacho grabbed the ball in transition inside our half. He pinged a wicked through ball to Facu to put him one-on-one against the keeper. Facu then held off a defender and put it neatly inside the post.

In the latter part of the half, we did lose our composure a little bit. Two long balls caused us trouble and we conceded two unfortunate goals to an Ashkelon team that was already a man down. The final score was 3-3.

In penalties, however, we were able to turn around an unfavourable situation. After we missed a pen, Ashkelon could have won it with their last penalty, but their player put it over the net.

After that, while Nacho scored as our 6th shooter, Gato Schwalb stepped up and saved the shot to claim an epic victory against a higher-ranked team. Immediately after that, the celebrations began, which were incredible to see.

Zequi Lubocki, Inter Blue's manager said after the game, ''I was very proud of the team on Saturday; of how well we played and how we rallied when things didn’t go in our favour.

''Once again, we showed tremendous mental strength, which can only come from our hard work and confidence as a team. Going forward, we look to the next game against Ramat Gan in the quarter-finals!''


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