Al Khaldiya, Muharraq eke out wins
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Defending champions Al Khaldiya and title challengers Muharraq both came away with hardearned victories last night in the 2023/2024 Nasser bin Hamad Bahrain Premier Football League.
Khaldiya overcame a tough fight from East Riffa, giving up a single-goal advantage twice before coming away with a 3-2 win. Muharraq, on the other hand, held on for a tough 3-2 win against Sitra.
Both games wrapped up the league’s 11th week of action, and both winners moved into the top three of the table.
In Khaldiya’s win, goals from Gleison Wilson Da Silva Moreira and Zouhair El Moutaraji were cancelled out by East Riffa’s Thiago Augusto Fernandes.
But El Moutaraji ended up providing the late-game heroics with a stunning winning strike four minutes from full time.
Khaldiya took the lead in 28th minute with a left-footed effort from Moreira from the right of the box. He sent the curing shot into the top-left corner of goal in brilliant fashion.
East Riffa came back on level terms 10 minutes on after Fernandes took advantage of a mistake by Khaldiya’s Ahmed Bughammar.
The Bahrain national team defender sent a weak backpass towards goalkeeper Mohammed Algharabli, which was within the reach of Fernandes.
He intercepted the ball and fired away, sending the contest into the interval deadlocked at 1-1.
Khaldiya got back in front in the 51st minute when El Moutaraji slotted home from close range from an acute angle, taking advantage of some porous defending from their opponents. But Fernandes was once again heroic for East Riffa, equalizing for the second time in the 66th minute with an acrobatic volley in the box.
His shot came after Algharabli punched away a cross, but the ball went directly into Fernandes’s path, and he converted with a single touch.
El Moutaraji then decided the contest in the 86th minute.
He connected on a powerful rocket from a metre outside the area that flew into the right of the net, past a frustrated East Riffa goalkeeper Eyad Nasser Salem.
Khaldiya came away with all three points and improved to 20—just two behind solo leaders Riffa—following their fifth win in 11 tries.
East Riffa suffered their fourth loss and stayed on 15 markers.
Meanwhile, Muharraq needed only six minutes to open the scoring against Sitra, as Abdulwahab Al Malood converted from the face of goal after some sublime passing from his teammates.
Just two minutes later, Muharraq doubled their lead with a goal from Zahir Alaghbari, who scored with a crafty back heel off a corner-kick, surprising the opposing goalkeeper and squeezing the ball into the net.
Sitra were then able to get one back in the 39th minute through Hamza Abdulla Attar, but Muharraq restored their two-goal advantage just five minutes into the second-half when Felipe Saraiva De Souza Silva fired in from the inside edge of the box into the top-right corner.
Sitra reduced the deficit once more from the penalty spot after a handball infraction in the sixyard box.
Amir Rostai stepped forward to send in the penalty, but it was a consolation in defeat.
Muharraq claimed their fifth win and went to 19 points for third place, while Sitra suffered their third loss and stayed on 13 markers.