Hakoah FC into finals of Kanga Cup
The under 13s have had an outstanding tournament beating Sutherland Sharks 2-0 in the semi final. Below is another creative write up by team manager Darren Katz of days 3 and 4.
Live stream available from 9am of all the Finals HERE
Good luck boys!
Hakoah 9 (O Jones 2, Z Sapsford 2, J Kleviansky 2, A Strasser, A Robertson, M Shapiro, ) vs Ashburton United 0
An undefeated Hakoah team went into their final pool game against an opponent who had performed inconsistently over their three games. With a close loss to Glen Eira, who troubled the boys in their first game, but a draw against Trinity who was dispatched easily, which side would turn up? In the end, it didn’t matter. You play the team that’s in front of you, impose your style of play and if you’re good enough, the results will come. Today was that sort of game, where the Hakoah boys stamped their authority early on the game, took the sting out of the opposition and came away with a comprehensive victory.
Hakoah took the lead within the first minute, Tim Scott crossing from the right hand corner to Robbie Fraser, who smartly knocked the ball back across goal for Jared Kleviansky to tap the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Ashburton responded well to such an early set back, their number 10 fast and direct. Stand in keeper Daniel Solsky made a great save in the fifth minute, Ryan Collins composed with the clearance.
A couple of minutes later Hakoah continued to press forward, winning a corner. Although the corner was cleared, Hakoah won a free kick from about twenty metres out on the right hand side of the field. Up stepped Ollie Jones. You’ve read the script, you know what happens next. Two nil.
Two minutes later and Tim Scott made a storming run down the right hand side before being fouled. In a very similar position to the previous free kick, Ollie lined up and hit the ball sweetly with a curve that beat the keeper but hit the post. Not to worry, there’s more where that came from.
Ashburton continued to press forward, their speedy forwards causing problems for the centre backs. Ryan again stood up well to the challenge, Ethan Harris clearing the ball to Alexander Robertson. Alexander strode forward to the half way line before passing the ball through to Zac Sapsford. Zac ran strongly onto the ball, before a classy finish through the keeper’s legs to make it 3-0.
In the nineteenth minute the lead was extended, Tim Scott picking up the crumbs from a corner with a surging run into the box, Jared the recipient bundling the ball over the line to make it 4-0.
Two minutes later and Adam Strasser scored, a strong shot from outside the box not held cleanly by the Ashburton keeper with the ball dropping over the line. Despite the scoreline Ashburton continued to play positively, close to the end of the first half bringing an acrobatic save from Daniel.
Unfortunately for the opposition, the second half brought more of the same. Thirty seven minutes in and Ollie made the most of his change to central midfield with another clean shot on goal to make it 6-0. Alexander wanted to join the party and with exquisite control and balance waltzed through several defenders before slotting the ball past the keeper. 7-0.
The next goal was a team effort, Tim at centre back knocking the ball down to Ethan Harris, triangles down the left flank between Ethan De Melo and Robbie, who hit an angled pass through to Zac. Despite the goalie and two defenders on the line the ball hit the net for an 8-0 scoreline.
The last action of the game was inevitably another Hakoah goal. With seconds to go the ball was playe
d through the Ashburton back line. Matty Shapiro pounced, knocking the ball into the net for a final scoreline of 9-0.
At the end of the group rounds, our boys deserve to be top of their group. While today was a mismatch, the best part of the game was the clinical way they took the game away from the opposition. Cross the white line and there are no friends. However the competition starts anew tomorrow
Day 4 – Semi Final
Hakoah 2 (R Fraser, E De Melo) vs Sutherland Sharks FC 0
Despite a straight forward win yesterday, there was no lessening of standards from the Hakoah boys as they ran out winners in their semi-final against a competitive but ultimately outclassed Sutherland outfit.
The first few minutes were very even, both sides sounding each other out as they attacked positively. The first chance of the game fell to Sutherland, with a hard shot across the face of goal. Back and forth went the play, Adam Strasser coming close with a shot over the bar after a corner, Sutherland responded with a shot from a free kick that caused no fears for stand in keeper Alexander Robertson.
After ten minutes of shadow boxing, it was time for the real deal. Robbie Fraser latched onto a loose ball fully twenty five metres out and a bullet of a shot flew over the keepers’ head before he had time to react. One nil to Hakoah and the nervy parents on the sideline breathed a sigh of relief.
For the rest of the half Hakoah asserted their dominance of midfield by fashioning chance after chance. The Sutherland goal seemed to lead a charmed life, aided by bodies being flung at a proliferation of shots. Ethan De Melo in particular was causing havoc across the front line, mesmerising the defence with his footwork and turning into the first defender and winning the ball back on the rare occasions he couldn’t create a clear chance. Tim Scott followed suit with a couple of typically surging runs, Matty Shapiro smashed a fierce shot that the keeper did well to parry, Jared Kleviansky agonisingly close with the follow up that just ran the wrong side of the post.
Hakoah needed to stay alert, however, Sutherland playing long balls to their speedy wide men and taking advantage of the sun being in the defenders’ eyes. Zac Pillemer was called on a number of times to diffuse high balls, the centre backs Ollie and Ryan also in the thick of the action.
In the twentieth minute Ethan Harris chanced his arm, a hard shot bouncing awkwardly in front of the Sutherland keeper but the loose ball couldn’t be forced in. Four minutes later and an Ollie Jones special was also spilt by the keeper, this time Zac Sapsford’s follow up effort was blocked.
Half time beckoned, Hakoah with a dominant performance but there remained a nagging concern that the boys could end up paying for their inability to turn their many chances into goals.
The second half began with a bout of friendly fire, Alexander and Tim committed to a high ball and colliding in the process. Alexander came off second best, leaving the field for several minutes but he was thankfully fine to play on.
Sutherland had clearly been subjected to a few choice motivational words at half time, as they chased and harried the Hakoah boys and began to enjoy more possession. While they were able to win more ball, their main tactic remained to play long balls which were comfortably dealt with by second half keeper Ollie Jones. However, he could do nothing but stand and watch a Sutherland free kick after forty two minutes that cannoned off the cross bar. The slender advantage of a one goal lead was again evident.
The game descended into a midfield battle, the boys perhaps nervous with the narrow lead and as a result losing shape and composure. With the little ball they retained, Hakoah still looked to create chances. Their best efforts involved their wide players, although Ben Katz, revelling in a midfield dogfight as always, nearly stabbed home from a central through ball provided by Matty Shapiro.
A wide player did make a difference with four minutes to go. Ethan Harris, sleeves metaphorically rolled up for a scrap, won the ball inside the Hakoah half and passed to Ben Katz. Ben played inside to Jared, who smartly used his strength to hold the ball up, advancing towards the left wing. He played an angled pass through to Ethan De Melo who took a couple of paces before shooting high and hard into the top right corner of the goal. Two nil to Hakoah and surely, surely that was the win sealed.
The boys continued to fight hard for the remaining minutes, but finally the referee blew for full time to calm the collective nerves of the parents and send the boys into the final. Tomorrow they will be joined by goalkeeper Noah, the team will be complete and they will look to finishing the Kanga Cup together.