Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Today's final game of the 18th Maccabi Games saw Bafana Bafana take on Canada, who like us were still searching for thier 1st win of the tournament. We arrived first and headed straight for the 1 patch of shade where we started to change and get ready for the match. About 5 mins later the Canadian team arrived and entered the stadium where we were changing, one by one greeting us. These greetings suddenly turned into negotiations, whereby Bafana offered to by a round of beers for the Canadian team if they agreed to "give 1 or 2 HEAVY backpasses"............... One would have thought that the negotiations would end there, but oh no, on they went with the likes of one of the Canadian players offering to flip a coin there & then, thus deciding on a winner and both teams heading of to the local pub for a few pints.....
All this was done in good spirit of the Maccabi Games and unfortunately we had not come to any aggreement and had to start the game.
Team Lineup: (4-4-2)
Dan Fine (GK), Michael Selikow, David Valentini, Allan Nossel, Colin Gewer, Izzy Goldfein, Ryan Jankelowitz, Robert Sulcas, Gary Katzman, Robin Segal, Yaron Frankental
1st half started with a bang, with once again, Bafana having possession and threatening the Canadian goals early on. Then in the 8th min, Canada conceded a free kick just along the halfway line, up stepped Colin "the gaffer' Gewer who belted a ball into the 18yard box and out of nowhere, Ryan 'one touch" Jankelowitz rose like a salmon and powered a header across the Canadian goal towards the back post, the bench, linesman & supporters all held thier breath, what looked like a certain goal, was unfortunately only a deflection back into play by the backpost. The 1st half continued in a very even affair, with both sides having equal opportunities.
An encouraging halftime talk from the "Special One" (Warren Lewis) and about 3 litres of water later, the lads were back on the field to trry and seal the deal.
2nd half started with both sides trying to get on the scoresheet. Bafana made a few changes in the hope of mixing it up and trying to catch the Canadians off guard, however the 2nd half finished much like the 1st, with no goals from either team, final score 0 - 0, once again extra time would be needed.
The lads were starting to feel the heat now, as the tempreature soared into the high 30's. 1st half of extra time ended 0 - 0. With a quick change over and no break, the 2nd half of extra time started. Not much to write home about in the snd half and penalties were on the cards when in the final minute of etra time (19th min) one of the candians found himself in space about 4 yards outside the big box and had a crack...................................... SWOOSH! the ball found itself in the back of the net. Silence hit the Bafana bench as Canada had scored in the final minute of play, securing the win and condemning Bafana to 8th place in the 18th Maccabi Games 2009.
The lads were guttered, as no more could be done. The final whistle blew and that was the end of the road for Bafana, even though we didnt win 1 game, we definitely won the "most goals per game" award. The lads picked themselves up, shook hands and began to swap shirts, all in a good days play.
The lads had a great time, approaching each day with nothing less than a smile & a chirp here and there for teammates and opposition alike. WE WILL BE BACK, SHALOM YISRAEL!!!
On the 19th July, Bafana Bafana played against Brazil for places 5 -8 in the Maccabi Masters Football Division. The Winner of this match would play the winner of the USA vs CANADA match for 5th 7 6th place and the looser would play the looser of the USA vs CANADA match for 7th & 8th place.
Team Lineup: (4-4-2)
Dan Fine (GK), Michael Selikow, Colin Gewer, David Valentini, Allan Nossel, Izzy Goldfein, Ryan Jankelowitz, Robert Sulcas, Gary Katzman, Yaron Frankental, Robin Segal.
1st half kicked off, with Bafana having much of the possesion and passing the ball around nicely. Bafana were dominating the play which paid off in the 20th min when Ryan "one touch" Jankelowitz back heeled the ball to Ilan Hermann who put in a superb through ball for Dan Fine who ran onto the ball, cut inside and whipped in a low cross which was driven into the 6yard box where Lawrence " " Sacke pounced on the ball slotting it home, the keeper had as much chance as a balloon in a room filled with kittens............................... Bafana Bafana up 1 - 0.
However, Bafana struggled to hold onto the lead and in the 28th min, Brazil equalised with a near post header from thier no: 9 Striker, who was about 7 foot, we had no chance.........
Halftime score: 1 -1
2nd half began pretty much as the 1st half ended with Bafana dictating play, but this was short lived as the Brazilians started to comeback and piled on the pressure in the last few mins of the 2nd half. Final score after full time 1- 1. Extra time beckoned. (2 halves of 10 mins each with no break in between)
The lads had a quick water break with a little pep talk from the special one Warren Lewis and headed back onto the pitch, psyched and ready to put one over the Brazilians and claim our first win of the tournament. This however would not be the case and just 3 mins into the 1st half of extra time Brazil scored thier 2nd goal, smashing any hope of a win for Bafana. Final score 2 - 1 in favour of the Brazilians.
The lads were guttered, as they put thier heart & soul into the game and gave it thier all. Our next and final game would be up against Canada on Tuesday 21 July at 9am at Neve Sha'anan.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Our 3rd and final group match would see us come up against Great Britain, who at this stage had already qualified for the semi finals along with Mexico from Group B.
As the 2 teams were staying at the same hotel, the poms had been at us the whole day, chiroing us left, right & centre, but we took it no problem, knowing that we would be doing our chirping on the pitch.
After our team meeting and the announcement of the starting 11, the boys were eager to get out onto the pitch and do the business. We arrived at the field at 5pm, went through our warm-up & strapping from our 2 SUPERHUMAN physio's Farel Cohen and Richard Sutton.
The formation for this game would again be our more attacking one, that of a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.
Robert Cohen, Dan Fine, Michael Selikow, Gary Katzman, David Valentini, Ryan Jankelowitz, Colin Gewer, Robert Sulcas, Ilan Herman, Lawrence Sacke, Warren Lewis
The opening few minutes were frantic, with both sides flying into tackles, along with some words from both dugouts...................... (not me of course)
15 mins into the 1st half disaster struck, a free kick was conceded outside our box on the left hand side. The wall was placed, the keeper was ready and..............................................BANG! a total miss kick and somehow the ball landed up in the back of the net, Bafana Bafana down 1 nil.
The game continued to be a heated one, with Bafana putting in some heavy challenges, just letting the poms know that we had not been effected by the goal and would be taking the game right back to them. However just before half time, the poms scored twice (29th & 31st min), increasing thier lead to 3 - 0.
A minute later (32nd min) we received our 1st yellow card of the tournament, most bets were on Clive Snoyman, David Valentini or Yaron Frankental to get the 1st yellow, however it was Dan "the paralyzer" Fine who picked up the 1st yellow card, with a full blooded slide challenge. When asked what was going through his mind at the time, this was Dan's reply " i was already committed, couldnt get out of it, i had too.......", nice one Dan :)
Great Britain led 3 - 0 at the half.
After a half time talk from the special one, Wwarren Lewis, the 2nd half kicked off. All was going well until the 42nd min, where once again we conceded a soft goal and the lead increasing further for the poms. Just over halfway into the 2nd half the poms scored thier 5th and final goal, capitalizing on a very unconvincing performance this far from Bafana Bafana.
However 3 mins later would be the moment that the whole team and all the Bafana supporters were waiting for................................OUR 1ST GOAL!!!!
A floated in corner by Colin Gewer landed on Dan 'the paralyzer" Fine's head, who gracefully glanced it into the far post of the goals, making up for his yellow card earlier on in the game, the bench erupted with joy!!!
We thought that hopefully the floodgates had opened, but unfortunately it was not the case as the final score was 5 -1 in favour of Great Britain.
All in all, not Bafana's best performance, but our next game is against Brazil at the Neve Sha'anan fields in Haifa at 4pm on Sunday 19th July, where we will be fighting it out for places 5 - 8 and i have no doubt that having opened up our goal soring account, the team can pull off our 1st win of the tournament against the Brazilians on Sunday.
Game 2 saw Bafana Bafana take on the 2009 Confed Cup finalist, USA at the Avi Ran 2 complex in Haifa. This match promised to be a cracker as both countries were searching for there 1st win.
Bafana had decided to change the formation to a more attacking one, to that of a more conventional 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.
Robert Cohen, Dan Fine, Gary Katzman, Allan Nossel, David Valentini, Lawrence Sacke, Robert Fihrer, Clive Snoyman, Ilan Herman, Yaron Frankental, Warren Lewis
The 1st half started with Bafana Bafana playing some great football, having much of the possesion and passing the ball around nicely until, totally against the run of play, USA scored the opener in the 14th min, USA went into the break a goal to the good.
After a motivating & encouraging half time talk from the one and only Warren Lewis and of course some super physio work on some of our players carrying a few niggles, Bafana took to the field looking to score an early goal and pull level. This however was not the case as USA scored a 2nd well worked goal, doubling thier lead and thus sealing Bafana's fate.
Despite the scoreline, the boys played extemely well, with much passion & heart and gave 110% on the field, which was all that could be asked of them. The team left the field with thier heads held high and proud of the performance.
All thoughts would now shift to the Great Britain match on Thursday as we wanted to show the poms how the beautiful game was really played.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Our first game was agaisnt a very physical Mexican team, who lived up to thier reputation of being one of the roughest teams in the Masters over 35 division. The match was played at the Neve Sha'anan Sports Complex at 4pm (Israel time).
(4-2-2-2) Robert Cohen, Dan Fine, David Valentini, Warren Lewis, Gary Katzman, Clive Snoyman, Darren Katzman (CPT), Rob Fihrer, Lawrence Sacke, Ilan Herman, Alan Gershlowitz
Unfortunately we conceded first with a defensive error by our one and only "GAZA FB" and went into halftime 0 - 1 to the Mexicans. After a motivating halftime talk by our inspirational coach Warren Lewis, our boys were fired up and ready to take the field.
Once again, we unfortunately conceded a 2nd goal, this time by a GK mixup which pretty much secured the 3 points for the Mexicans. With 17 mins remaining, it was decided to abandon the defensive approach and push forward in the hope of making a comeback similar to that of Liverpool in the Champs league final in Instanbul, however to our horror, this was not the case and we conceded 4 late goals in the last 10 mins (63rd, 65th, 67th & 70th mins), leading to the Meixcans hammering in the final nails in the SA coffin.
Despite the score line, the lads were more shocked than disappointed and held thier heads up high. They vowed to take revenge agaisnt the USA in the next game.
Friday, July 10, 2009
The vets arrived today with a VERY WARM welcome from the holy land herself. Our forst task was to survive a "light training session", conducted by ur very own Richard "Magic fingers" Sutton. We confidently dislpayed our abilites for all to see. The Americans were awestruck, the mexicans were speechless and the Brazilians asked for our autographs. Well done guys for the effort.
See some pics:
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Maccabi GB in partnership with UJIA have announced that World Cup winner and Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton will be the special guest of Team GB at this summer’s 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Sir Bobby will be travelling to Israel with his wife, Lady Norma and fellow Manchester United director Mike Edelson and his wife Jacky. The Manchester Foundation Group, including four coaches will arrive in Israel on the 9th July for a four day trip arranged courtesy of Mike Edelson and Darryl Lee.
During his time in Israel, Sir Bobby will attend a number of Maccabiah events. This special visit to the Maccabiah will culminate with Sir Bobby leading Team GB into the Ramat Gan Stadium at the Opening Ceremony in front of 40,000 people before taking his seat in the Presidential box alongside the Prime Minister and President of Israel.
Sir Bobby is also in Israel as part of his involvement with the British Council’s ‘Football 4 Peace’ project. On Friday 10th July Sir Bobby and his party, which includes four Manchester United Foundation coaches, will attend a coaching session with ‘Football 4 Peace’ at the Wingate Sports Institution in Netanya. This will involve Sir Bobby joining Arab and Jewish children from the Football 4 Peace project at the Wingate Sports Institute for a special coaching session.
To read more of the article, you can go to http://www.maccabiah.com.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Please see below the Masters Football groups for the 18th Maccabi Games 2009.
The teams will be divided into 2 groups: The 1st team in the 17th Maccabiah will head group A. The 2nd team in the 17th Maccabiah will head group B.
The teams placed 3rd and 4th in the 17th Maccabiah will be drawn for second place in the groups. All the other teams will be placed in the groups by a draw.
In the event that after the draw, one or more teams will not appear and a situation arises whereby a group is short of 2 teams, the team drawn last will be moved from one group to another.
The semi-final games will be played on the Cross system, the team placed first in Group A will play against the team placed second in Group B and the team placed second in Group A will play against the team placed first in Group B.
The two winning teams in the Semi-Finals will play in the Final game for 1st and 2nd places, and the two losing teams in the semi-finals will play for 3rd and 4th places.
The teams placed 3rd and 4th in each group will play on the same system for places 5-8.