TEANECK, N.J. – Two first half goals off of set pieces put Hakoah in a hole too deep to dig out of, and the home side fell 5-2 to league leading Woodbridge Hungaria on May 6.
The visitors' superior organization neutralized some of the individual matchups which seemed to favor Hakoah, and the first quality chances of the game came Woodbridge's way in the 14th minute. Only two superb goal mouth clearances by Hakoah defender Jake Weinberg kept the game scoreless.
Four minutes later, Woodbridge got its breakthrough as the irrepressible Torok lost his marker in the box and flicked home a free kick. Hakoah fought back, as Torok's main competitor in the league scoring table, Saeed Sulemana-Baba got around the back of the Woodbridge defense and cut the ball into the middle, but the goalkeeper got down well for the save.
A minute later, it was Hakoah goalkeeper Alex Nazarov's turn to make a save, which he did in spectacular fashion, flying to his right to palm a long distance rocket away. He was unable to repeat the feat in the 32nd minute, when a misjudged corner was settled comfortably by Torok, who turned and shot low to extend the lead to two goals.
The sky blues found their footing soon after, with Phil Robinson asserting himself in the midfield and combining nicely with Sulemana-Baba and winger Lennox Brown to generate numerous chances. While Hakoah had all the momentum headed into the halftime break, Woodbridge had all the goals.
The start of the second half brought more of the same. In the 51st minute, Brown skinned his man and slid the ball into the middle. After a scramble in front of goal, Eyal Yechezkell managed to get off a shot towards goal after coming forward to join the attack. Yechezkell figured in the attack again a few minutes later, as Harel Nahar picked him out in the center of the field. The defender immediately played a beautifully weighted ball forward that dropped into the path of Sulemana-Baba, who lobbed the goalkeeper and kissed the ball off the post and in to finish a superb Hakoah move.
The heightened drama lasted only a few minutes, as once again Woodbridge was able to take advantage of a momentary lapse to grab a goal. Torok turned provider this time, finding #5 running toward goal. The finish was clinical, and Hakoah's hopes for a result were dashed.
Things went from bad to worse in the 73rd minute, as a miscommunication between Nazarov and the defensive line allowed a ball to bounce in the box and roll right to the feet of a Woodbridge attacker. He could hardly believe his luck, and he had no trouble finishing into the empty net to make it 4-1.
To its credit, the home side played to the final whistle, perhaps remembering the furious comeback Hakoah staged last fall to come within a whisker of getting a draw in Woodbridge after falling behind early. The effort was rewarded. Captain Nahar rattled the crossbar after another nice buildup in the 79th minute and Brown found the back of the net with a low shot that pinged off the post in the 89th minute. But the rout was complete in second half stoppage time as Torok broke in on goal for a one v one with Nazarov. Nazarov did well to parry the ball, but it caromed to an unmarked #5 for another easy finish and another victory for Woodbridge.
WH 18th Torok
WH 32nd Torok
SCH 54th Sulemana-Baba (Yechezkell)
WH 60th #5 (Torok)
WH 73rd unknown
SCH 89th Brown
WH 90th +1 #5 (Torok)