Group A - MD1: Al Jaish 0-0 Manama Club
Sharjah: Syria's Al Jaish and Manama Club of Bahrain played to a 0-0 draw in their opening 2020 AFC Cup Group A tie at the Khalid Bin Mohammed Stadium on Monday.
It was a meeting of familiar foes, having met in the 2018 edition where they drew their first encounter before Al Jaish claimed a 1-0 home win against Manama in the corresponding fixture.
With history on their side, Al Jaish were the first to make an attempt on goal through Warda Al Salama’s strike in the 10th minute but steady defending meant Manama were untroubled.
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Manama, eager to claim their first-ever AFC Cup win, dominated possession but only had their first look at goal in the 27th minute when Vitor Gabriel whipped in a cross into the box that found Issa Mossa Naji, but he failed to keep his header down.
Al Jaish, who reached the West Zonal Semi-finals last year, tried to find a way through but the Syrian Premier League champions' finishing left much to be desired.
In the 33rd minute, Mohammed Adel sent a low cross in search of Shadi Al Hamwi in the box, but Al Jaish goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma was quick to spring into action as the half ended goalless.
The second half saw both sides playing with more urgency with Al Jaish dangerous down the right flank but Yousef Al Hamwi and Al Salama failed to get half chances on target.
Manama, still with the lion's share of possession, looked to have found a breakthrough in the 85th minute as Al Hamwi collected substitute Isa Al Anezi’s through pass but was caught offside.
Al Jaish will face Hilal Alquds Club of Palestine on February 24, while Manama host defending champions Al Ahed FC.
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