Matchday Six - Group B: Al Ahed FC 3-1 Manama Club
Beirut: Lebanese side Al Ahed put themselves in a strong position to advance to the 2018 AFC Cup West Zonal Semi-final with a 3-1 victory over Bahrain’s Manama Club on Tuesday.
The hosts made their intentions clear from the start as Idrissa Kouyate handed coach Bassem Marmar’s charges a dream start in the third minute of the game after receiving a chipped ball from Mohammad Kdouh, whose assist left the Ivorian with a simple finish.
Although already eliminated, Manama refused to give up after going a goal down and Erick Luis looked for an equaliser with attempts in the 16th and 23rd minute but a goal eluded them.
The equaliser finally arrived through Ali Habib, whose attempt from outside the box swerved following a deflection off Al Ahed’s defender to find its way into the back of the net in the 25th minute.
Manama gained some possession and created good opportunities, but nine minutes after the second half, Kdouh was on creative duty again as he sent a curled cross which Nour Mansour converted with a header that tricked goalkeeper Ashraf Waheed Al Sebaie and announced the home side's second goal.
As the second half drew to a close, Al Ahed sealed their victory with a third goal after they were awarded a penalty kick in the sixth minute of added time, and Ahmad Zreik converted successfully from the spot.
The victory increased Ahed’s tally to 12 points, placing them as strong contenders for a Zonal Semi-final ticket as they await the result of Al Jaish and Al Zawraa clash later today. Manama, on the other side, end their journey at the bottom of the group with only one point.