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Manama through to HM the King’s Cup semis

TDT | Manama                                          

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com   

Manama barged into the semi-finals of this year’s His Majesty the King’s Cup following a thrilling 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Sitra last night.

The match was deadlocked at 1-1 at the end of extra time, with Mahdi Abduljabbar and substitute Al Mustafa Abdulsamad both scoring in the second half for their respective sides.

The game then went to the penalty kicks, and both teams were perfect after the first eight attempts. But then Sitra’s Hamza Al Hamami misfired on his shot, sending the ball over the crossbar and failing to break the 4-4 deadlock.

Manama’s Younes Musa took advantage, firing in a powerful left-footed effort into the top-left corner of goal to give Manama the win. Yesterday’s contest was the first of four quarter-final matches in this year’s HM the King’s Cup.

Hidd and Al Hala face off in another, while tonight Al Najma take on Al Ahli at 4.30pm followed by a titanic clash between Riffa and Muharraq at 8pm. The HM the King’s Cup football tournament is a knockout competition that offers the richest prizes in Bahrain.

In last night’s clash, both teams could not break the tie over the opening half, but then it took Manama only nine minutes after the break to go ahead. Abduljabbar found the net with a floating header from close range.

He connected on a long cross from the right wing supplied by teammate Ahmed Mirza. Manama appeared to be headed for a victory in regulation but Sitra pulled off a late comeback, with Abdulsamad hitting a brilliant equaliser in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

Abdulsamad sent the ball home with a fine bicycle kick after receiving a short pass from Ali Abdulrasool Al Asfoor. That paved the way for the extra 30 minutes of action, which led to the decisive shootout.

There, Sitra took the lead with Dabo converting their first kick against Manama goalkeeper Ammar Mohammed Abbas. Abduljabbar then replied for Manama against substitute Sitra stopper Godwill Chia Ndang.

The two teams then made their next three attempts, with Mutasim Billah Iskandar, Abdulsamad and Vincent Emmanuel Ani all scoring for Sitra, and Ahmed Ammar, Khalifa Issa Al Lafi and Mohammed Al Marmour finding the net for Manama. That set the stage for the decisive attempts of Al Hamami and Musa.