*** ----> Ahli in HM the King’s Cup final | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Ahli in HM the King’s Cup final

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Al Ahli barged into the final of the 2023/2024 His Majesty the King’s Cup last night following a 3-1 victory over Manama at Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town.

Abbas Al Asfoor and Hassan Madan were both on target for the victors within a four-minute spell in the first half, and then substitute Mahdi Sharaf sealed the win in the 11th minute of second-half stoppage time.

Suelynton Thiago Silva De Lima Brito scored the lone consolation for Manama.

Ahli now move on to the title-decider where they will square off with the winner of the other semi-final between defending Nasser bin Hamad Bahrain Premier Football League champions Al Khaldiya and Muharraq.

Khaldiya and Muharraq lock horns tonight, also at Khalifa Sports City Stadium.

Their match is scheduled for a 6.30pm kick-off. The final has yet to be scheduled by the Bahrain Football Association.

The HM the King’s Cup is the richest football competition in the Kingdom, with the winners set to take home BD100,000 in prize money and BD50,000 going to the runners-up.

Ahli have made it to the championship game for the second straight year.

They also played in the final last season, where they lost to Al Hala in a heart-stopping penalty shootout.

They are hoping to go one better this time around. Al Asfoor opened the scoring in the 31st minute. He pounced on a pass from teammate Jamal Rashed from the left of the box— meant for Madan, who left it for a trailing Al Asfoor.

He made the most of the opportunity and slotted in from close range to give Ahli the lead.

Solo Shortly after, Ahli doubled their advantage in the 35th minute with a brilliant solo effort from Madan. He fired in a rocket from two metres outside of the penalty area, which curled into the top-right corner of goal.

That was enough for Ahli to take the advantage into the break. In the second half, Manama tried valiantly to claw their way back, and were rewarded with their lone goal in the 68th minute. Brito single-handedly supplied the strike.

He was defended one-on-one by Ahli’s Abbas Ayyad on the left of the box, and then unleashed a powerful shot that flew by Ahli goalkeeper Ebrahim Luthfallah into the right of the net.

But any hopes Manama had of drawing level in the closing minutes were dashed by Sharaf.

He took advantage of an error by Manama’s Ali Gohar Sultan, who gave up possession too easily in his own half of the pitch. Sharaf then charged towards the net and sent the ball past opposing goalkeeper Fayez Al Rashidi.