For the majority of the Israeli season, Beitar Jerusalem have been woefully under-performing, and always been chasing the likes of Maccabi Haifa, who sit pretty at the top of the Ligal ha’Al table. Beitar have also had to look up to Maccabi Netanya who, bankrolled by the funds of Jewish-German businessman Daniel Jammer, are lead by none Lothar Matthaus and appear well positioned to increase their club’s development ad restructuring to become a major force in Israeli football.
On Monday night the two met at the Teddy stadium in Jerusalem with the local side Beitar running out 2-1 winners in a match that went from the comical to the sublime.
Netanya took the lead inside 15 minutes when Bevan Framson’s free-kick breached through the Jerusalem wall, but that was soon levelled up by Amit Ben-Shushan rebound ten minutes later.
Then, in an amazing act of incompetence, the match was held up in the 35th minute as the water sprinklers somehow came on in the middle of the match with the players from both sides stunned and soaked.
Two minutes before the break a moment of magic happened.
There appeared little on as Beitar’s South American right back Cristian Alvarez (number 2 in the picture) picked up possession 35-yards from goal close on the left hand side. But Alvarez took everyone by surprise by carrying the ball only a couple of feet forward before unleashing a tremendous ripper which left Netanya shot-stopper Strauber no chance as the ball flew majestically into the top corner.
Highlights of the match including Cristian Alvarez’s unbelievable strike (1.05 minutes in) can be seen here.