Al Khaldiya crowned champions!
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Al Khaldiya were last night crowned champions of the 2022/2023 Nasser bin Hamad Bahrain Premier Football League. Khaldiya claimed the coveted title despite drawing 1-1 with Bahrain Club in their season-ending fixture, played at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town.
Attending the match were Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first deputy chairman, General Sports Authority president and Bahrain Olympic Committee chief His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa; along with Bahrain Football Association (BFA) president Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and BFA vice-president His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali bin Isa Al Khalifa.
HH Shaikh Khalid presented the awards post-game to Khaldiya, including the all-new champions’ shield which has been redesigned by the BFA for this season. The stalemate was enough for Khaldiya to secure the title, as their share of the points helped them improve to 42 on the final league standings.
They finished one point ahead of Manama, who were hoping for a Khaldiya loss last night to be able to steal away the championship. Bahrain Club were handed their 12th defeat and finished on 19 points as they are now headed for relegation to the Kingdom’s second division.
On target in last night’s match were Ismaeel Abdullatif for Khaldiya and Yourman Fabian Vergara Valencia for Bahrain Club. Abdullatif fired in a freekick in the 30th minute from several metres outside the penalty box.
His powerfully hit shot took a bounce before flying into the left of the net, with Bahrain Club goalkeeper Yousif Habib Mansour diving unsuccessfully to make a save. Bahrain Club equalised in the 40th minute through Valencia, who was able to outmuscle two Khaldiya defenders and then evade goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar Alawi to slot the ball into an empty net.
Meanwhile, the four teams in the relegation play-offs were determined last night, with East Riffa defeating Al Hala 3-1 in the evening’s other league fixture. Despite the result, East Riffa and Hala will be participating in the play-offs, along with the two second-division teams of A’ali and Buri.
Hala’s Abdulaziz Khaled Al Mansouri opened the scoring yesterday in the ninth minute with a brilliant lobbing header off a long assist from near the half-pitch line supplied by Abuchi Nicolas Idemili.
But East Riffa replied with three goals, all in the second half, with Salem Issa Al Dosari scoring in both the 47th and 70th minutes, and then Sami Al Hussaini applying the nail in the coffin in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.
The relegation play-offs will be played in round-robin format, and they are scheduled to take place on Monday and Friday next week, as well as on May 30. East Riffa and Hala are in the competition being the ninth and 10th-ranked sides in the league, while A’ali and Buri are the third and fourth-ranked teams in the second division. The top two teams following a single round-robin will take their place in the top flight.