Also yesterday on a busy evening of action that featured five fixtures, Manama edged past Al Najma 1-0, East Riffa scored a similar 1-0 win over Al Hala and defending champions Riffa defeated Al Ahli 3-1.
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In Muharraq’s win, it was Busaiteen who drew first blood after Brazilian Jorge de Araujo, more popularly known as Junior Timbo, found the net in the 35th minute with a beautiful curling kick from a few metres outside the penalty box. His shot sailed past the outstretched arm of Muharraq’s Bahrain national team number one goalkeeper and Gulf Cup winner Sayed Mohammed Jaffar.
But their celebrations were short-lived as Muharraq were able to get one back right before the interval. Nigerian professional Prince Aggreh was brought down in the area on the stroke of half-time and Brazilian professional Everton stepped up to take the spot kick. Despite it being touched by the Busaiteen goalkeeper, his effort was taken well enough to get into the net for the equaliser.
After the re-start, it did not take long for Muharraq to find their winner. In the 55th minute, national team striker Abdullatif, also a Gulf Cup winner, was in perfect position to evade the opposing defence. He received a well-placed headed pass from teammate Waleed Al Hayam right in front of goal and then slotted home with a low, left-footed shot to give his team the lead, which they did well to hold on to until the end.
In Hidd’s win, a Sayed Mohammed Adnan penalty in the second minute of second-half stoppage time helped lift them to their 2-1 triumph over Shabab.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, Hassa Madan put Shabab ahead when he took advantage of a mistake from the Busaiteen defence to score in the 65th minute. Madan was able to fire past the Hidd defence and get his hard-earned goal.
But Hidd struck back in the 77th minute when Mamadou Drame from Senegal latched onto a poorly hit shot from teammate Adnan and tapped the ball in from close range. That set the stage for a tense final few minutes. Hidd pressed for a winner and were awarded their penalty with a controversial hand-ball call. Adnan took the spot kick and did well to convert.
Following both match results, Muharraq improved to 22 points, just three behind leaders Hidd, but with one match more in hand.
Also yesterday, Ahmed Nabeel scored the lone goal in Manama’s win over Najma; a Baqer Hawsawi strike gifted East Riffa their win over Al Hala; and scoring for champions Riffa in their 3-1 win over Ahli were were Hazza Ali and Mohammed Soulah, who found the net twice. Cameroon professional Ernst Thierry Anang scored the lone consolation for Ahli.
With those results, staying behind Hidd and Muharraq on the standings in third through fifth, respectively, were East Riffa, Riffa and Manama; while completing the table in the bottom half were Najma, Ahli, Busaiteen, Shabab and Hala.
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