Muharraq make rousing start in King Salman Cup
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Muharraq made a rousing start to their qualifying campaign last night for the 2023 King Salman Clubs Cup—the region’s top tournament organised by the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA), also known as the Arab Club Champions Cup.
The Bahrainis defeated Al Seeb of Oman 2-0 in their firstleg clash of the competition’s opening qualifying round.
The match was played in front of a huge local crowd that flocked to Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium at Muharraq Club in Arad.
Victor Manuel Arboleda Murillo and Hassan Uqabi bin Haddish were both on target for Muharraq in the first half.
Arboleda opened their account in the 21st minute with a strike from close range, while bin Haddish scored on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot.
The two goals were enough to send Muharraq into the break with the lead. In the final 45 minutes, they tried to add to the score line but could not come up with the finishing touches.
With their first-leg victory in the bag, Muharraq will be hoping to close things out in the return-leg in Muscat, scheduled for April 4.
Muharraq are one of two Bahraini clubs competing in this year’s tournament.
The other are Manama, who are paired against Al Hilal Omdurman of Sudan in this qualification stage.
Manama lost their firstleg clash 0-3 played away on Monday, but will be looking to bounce back but have a mammoth task in their home game on April 10.
After this first qualification stage, 12 winners will advance to a second phase of qualifying, which will then determine the six teams that will move on to the tournament’s group stage.
There, 10 teams have already entered directly, including champion clubs from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
The 2023 King Salman Clubs Cup carries a huge prize purse, with the champions pocketing a cool US$6million.
The runners-up get $2.5million, while the semi-finalists each take home $200,000 and the quarter-finalists $150,000 each.