Khaldiya, Muharraq march on to HM the King’s Cup quarters
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Reigning Bahrain league champions Al Khaldiya and perennial contenders Muharraq both marched through last night to the quarter-finals of the 2023/2024 His Majesty the King's Cup football tournament.
Khaldiya, who were down to 10 men, punched their tickets after taking out holders Al Hala 3-1, while Muharraq advanced with a 1-0 win over Galali.
Khaldiya next take on the winner of the other round-of-16 tie between Al Shabab and Al Ettihad, scheduled for tonight, while Muharraq have a mammoth assignment against top rivals Riffa, who were 5-0 victors over A’ali to book their seat in the round of eight.
Action in the round of 16 continues today and tomorrow. This evening, along with Shabab’s clash against Ettihad, Sitra take on Busaiteen; and then tomorrow, Hidd battle Al Ettifaq and East Riffa go up against Manama to claim the final berths in the quarters.
All four matches are scheduled for 7pm kick-offs.
In Khaldiya’s win last night, Othman Yahya Hassan, Mahdi Abduljabbar and Ismaeel Abdullatif were all on target for the victors. Hassan opened the scoring in the 41st minute after firing in off a rebound following an Abduljabbar shot that was saved.
The very next minute, it was Abduljabbar’s turn to send the ball home, supplying a brilliant header from inside the box that bounced off the pitch and into the net.
After the half-time break, Hala were able to get a goal back through Joseph Ansah, who scored on a quick counter-attack.
Khadliya’s Seydina Laye Dabo was then sent off in the 59th minute for what was judged to be a deliberate hand-ball in the box, resulting in a Hala penalty. Ansah stepped forward to take the spot kick, but his attempt was masterfully saved by Khaldiya goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulrahim Al Gharabli, who dove to his right to make the all-important stop.
Abdullatif then sealed the win for Khaldiya in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time. He curled in a fine free-kick from a metre outside the area into the top-left corner of goal.
Meanwhile, in Muharraq’s win, Hassan Al Karani was on target in the 27th minute to give his team the lead. Al Karani headed in from close range after another header that was sent in following a cross from the left wing. That proved enough to separate the two sides in the game.
The HM the King’s Cup is the richest football competition in the Kingdom, with the winners taking home BD100,000 in prize money and BD50,000 going to the runners-up.
In the 2022/2023 His Majesty the King’s Cup, Hala were crowned champions after a heart-stopping 6-5 victory over Al Ahli in a hugely thrilling penalty shootout in the final.