Games we play: Soccer

Jaffa, new Ashdod club win JC Olim openers

The JC Olim League, created by Olim communities around Israel, got underway this week. The league is comprised of nine teams with Jewish footballers from all over the globe.
This summer saw three new teams enter the league, and the preseason anxiousness finally ended as the league kicked off on Saturday night in Tel Aviv and Ashdod.
Playing at the Tel Aviv University pitch, league veterans Jaffa FC easily won a home match against new boys Aviv City FC 7-1.
Aviv City got off to the better start with some promising attacks thwarted by a strong Jaffa backline. However, the match turned midway through the first half when Josh Berkeley broke the deadlock for Jaffa with a strong strike from the edge of the area.
This was swiftly followed with another from Josh and a third goal from Rannie Madmon following a great run down the left from Elias Sandler. Madmon blotted his copybook, however, with a bad tackle injuring Sagi Meged of Aviv City and earning him a yellow card.
Jaffa continued where it left off in the second half with an early penalty placed in the corner by Josh Berkeley.
At four goals up, Jaffa relaxed and started to spread the ball around beautifully with Tito Elias and Stephen Caffrey controlling the game. It wasn’t long until Berkeley put Jaffa up 6-0.
Caffrey rounded off the scoring for Jaffa late in the game with a goal from the edge of the box.
Aviv City did not give up, as Roy Morik scored a cracker with the last kick of the game for Aviv’s first-ever league goal and a confidence booster for the next game.
Thirty miles south, other newcomers Ashdod established themselves as a force to be reckoned with by humbling Jerusalem – last season’s runners up – 6-1.
“Credit to Ashdod, they are a well organized, cohesive unit,” said Jerusalem FC’s Richard Patter. “However, the score line does not reflect the many chances we created...
It was a learning experience but with the strong characters we have in our team, I’m sure we’ll bounce back.”
Next weekend, current champions England FC take on the newly merged Modi’in and Beit Shemesh team, as well as the league’s first Northern Israel derby of Netanya vs Ra’anana.