THREE Maccabi-Hakoah FC boys’ teams from Sydney and two Maccabi Caulfield FC boys’ sides from Melbourne made their mark in the 2019 National Kanga Cup, held in Canberra from July 7-12.
With more than 10,000 players involved, the Kanga Cup is the largest annual junior football tournament in the southern hemisphere.
A very strong Maccabi-Hakoah squad, made up of Maccabi FC and Hakoah FC Skill Acquisition Program players, emerged as U9 Cup champions.
They cruised undefeated into the finals without conceding a goal, aided by solid defence by captain Jonah Bloch, Aaron Pal, Jonah Bloom and Ethan Scurnik.
After Jordan Greenberg tapped a well-directed corner into goal to seal a 1-0 semi-final win over Wagga Wagga, they faced undefeated Concord FC in the final, and conceded an early goal.
A long range bullet into goal from the boot of Eden Smoli took the match into extra time, and finally a penalty shootout, which Maccabi-Hakoah won 4-3.
Delighted coach Ryan Bloch praised his players for demonstrating amazing team spirit.
Maccabi-Hakoah FC were also U10 Cup champions. They only lost one pool match, to St George City, and then toppled St Albans 2-0 in the semis through a brilliant brace by Alex Scott.
The talented striker also scored an early goal in the final against St George City, who replied with a goal midway through the second half, but Maccabi-Hakoah’s Ori Port secured the title for his team by executing a forceful header into goal.
The U11 Cup saw the Maccabi Caulfield Rockets edge Maccabi-Hakoah FC 2-1 in a top quality – and very friendly – preliminary round fixture.
Both teams won or drew more games than they lost, and only narrowly missed out on making the finals.
Rockets coach Ofer Elboher noted it was his team’s Kanga Cup debut, so finishing as high as fourth in their pool was a real credit to his players’ enthusiasm and effort, and the support shown by their parents.
Top scorers for the team were Ilan Elboher (4) and Eden Leshetz (3).
The Maccabi Caulfield Colts side also did well, coming fourth in their pool in the U13 Plate.
The team’s manager, Rochelle Parasol, said the boys started the tournament on a high, with players interviewed on ABC TV.
The Colts – coached during the tournament by Brunswick City NPL2 players Darby Dexter and Yonnie Lipshatz – won two of their three games, and in one of their wins, Jem Attar scored a hat-trick.