The match started well for the Israeli side who went 2-0 up with Benji Dadon scoring a brace to take Israel into the lead at half time. The second half began in a fiery contest with the Italians fighting tooth and nail and eventually pulling a goal back to 2-1. This prompted Israel to make some inspiring substitutions resulting in a 3-1 lead through their midfield maestro Lee Cottle. In a moment of brilliance the Italians then scored a sublime 25 yard goal taking the score to 3-2.
With about 10 minutes left on the clock Israel rallied the troops and increased their lead again with a well-placed finish by Ryan Smith in the bottom left corner. However, the Italians were still not done and managed to bundle home a soft goal in the 86th minute, making for a very tense final few minutes. Despite intense pressure, Israel managed to hold their nerve and win the game 4-3.
“Maccabi SA’s mandate as a community sports organisation extends beyond our own programme to include interaction with other communities. This friendly contest between Jewish and Italian footballers was thoroughly enjoyed by all and served to highlight how much we all have in common,’’ commented Ronen Cohen, Vice-Chairman of Maccabi Western Province.
In 2015 Maccabi South Africa shifted focus from being a primarily Games focused organisation to providing a meaningful, relevant sports service for the whole Jewish community. ‘’This soccer match is just one of many recreational activities that Maccabi WP has planned to keep our community active and involved’’, added Cohen.Back to News