Games We Play - Soccer: Tel Aviv makes it two from two
Games We Play - Soccer
By DAVID BERNSTEIN
Anglo league favorite Tel Aviv defeated Ra'anana 4-1 on Saturday evening, despite giving a glut of new players their league debuts.
Only three members of the Tel Aviv side that thrashed Beth Shemesh 13-2 a fortnight ago were available and the test was on to see if the new boys, marshaled by captain Brad Bernstein, could put together another solid victory.
In contrast Ra'anana was lying at the foot of the table after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Modi'in and needed a huge performance from forward Michael Klahr and co if they were to get anything from Tel Aviv.
Ra'anana kicked off the game and was immediately under threat, playing the first ten minutes packed in their own half.
TA midfielder Jakob Kalms took the first shot of the game with a volley from a corner which was easily dealt with and moments later TA winger Lewis Kaye was denied a goal by a brilliant save from a low shot, one of many good saves in the first period.
As Tel Aviv continued to dominate play, Kaye was again involved as he received a perfect pass inside the box and forced a corner. Kaye and Kalms were running the show but to no avail.
The visitors' resistance broke down in the 21st minute as ex Betar-Jerusalem youth player Kalms scored a scorching 25 yard lob leaving the keeper in no-mans land.
Taking advantage of the momentum Tel Aviv doubled the lead in the 23rd minute when Jon Binke broke inside the area and placed a perfect low drive in the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.
Ra'anana reacted well and started to apply huge pressure on Tel Aviv, led by junior sensation Eitan Orensen. The team was working its way cleverly down the flanks and holding possession, but failed to create any real chances.
Tel Aviv tried to regain authority before halftime but seemed to lack composure especially up front and were being continually frustrated by late tackles from a resilient Ra'anana midfield.
Tel Aviv Manager Marc Benezra had to let his players know his frustrations in the half-time interval, yet more pressure from Ra'anana after the break, with Josh Antian having to make his first real save of the match palming away a close range Ra'anana shot. Tel Aviv squandered possession and the visitors capitalized with a goal in the 50th minute from their danger man Orenson.
Ra'anana almost scored again soon after as Tel Aviv continued to show lack of discipline but fortunately for the home side Binke bagged his second of the night with another clinical low drive to keep the distance between the teams 3-1.
Ra'anana suffered another blow with 15 minutes left as center back Cole Jonson's 20 yard lob left the Ra'anana keeper again hopelessly watching the ball loop into the back of the net.
Following the match Benezra commented he was pleased for his side to go into the work league unbeaten in both freindlies and the Anglo league and was impressed with all of the debutants particularly Jakob Kalms.
In other fixtures, Jerusalem saw off Beth Shemesh 6-3 in a heated game which saw a suspected broken ankle, a red card and near brawl between the two benches, and an actual punch up on the pitch.
Jerusalem's physical strength certainly won out on the night, and the result means all eyes will be focused on Saturday night's clash between Modi'in and Jerusalem, with a win for either side putting them at the top of the table with Tel Aviv.
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