KSA's Al-Shabab loses to Qatar's El-Jaish

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Updated 25 April 2013
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KSA's Al-Shabab loses to Qatar's El-Jaish

DOHA, Qatar: Qatar's El-Jaish beat Saudi Arabia's Al-Shabab in Doha on Wednesday, all the goals coming from Wagner Ribeiro, to reach the AFC Champions League last 16.
Al-Shabab's defeat in Group A of the league was accentuated by a fight between teammates Walid Jahdali and Marcelo Camacho, which prompted Nasser Al-Shamrani to intervene.
In the other AFC games, China’s Guangzhou Evergrande also scrambled into the last 16 despite a 3-2 loss to Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds in which they finished with 10 men and had coach Marcello Lippi sent to the stands.
In a dramatic encounter in Saitama, Japan, Urawa kept its title hopes alive heading into next week’s final group games, and also flirted with the three-goal victory margin which would have kept Guangzhou’s progression on hold.
Lippi, who led Italy to World Cup glory in 2006 and wants to make Guangzhou China’s first Asian champions in 23 years, let his frustrations show and was ordered from the touchline for kicking a water bottle as they went 3-1 down.
A controversial late effort from Muriqui — in which the referee missed a linesman’s flag for offside — eased Guangzhou’s worries, although they were also hit by a stoppage-time red card against defender Zhang Linpeng.
The evening’s events could still have consequences for Guangzhou, with Zhang and Lippi both now facing bans for next week’s game with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as they aim to hang on to top spot in Group F and gain an easier last 16 draw.
Lippi did not appear at the post-match press conference but was replaced by assistant coach Massimiliano Maddaloni, who called it a “reasonable result.”
Urawa manager Mihailo Petrovic said his team richly deserved their win.
In the other Group F game, former Asian champions Jeonbuk beat Thailand’s Muangthong United 2-0 but were prevented from reaching the knock-out phase by Urawa’s surprise win.
The 2006 winners, now one point behind Urawa in third spot — with only the top two going through — face the difficult task of playing leaders Guangzhou in next week’s final group game, while Urawa face bottom club Muangthong.
In Group E, Thailand’s Buriram United was just seconds from a victory which would have put the team into the knock-outs before Japanese outfit Vegalta Sendai snatched a 1-1 draw in the 93rd minute.
Buriram’s Osmar Barba had glanced in a free kick in the 53rd minute and Theerathon Bunmathan hit the bar near the end but paid for some wasteful finishing when Takayuki Nakahara’s neat volley claimed a point for Sendai.
In the same group, K-League champions FC Seoul beat China’s Jiangsu Sainty 2-0 to safely reach the two-legged round of 16, which starts on May 14.
In the other Group A match, Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates made up for an earlier loss to Tractorsazi Tabriz with a 2-0 victory. But the win wasn’t enough for the UAE side to overtake El Jaish.
There is everything to play for with one round of matches in Group B, after Al Shabab Al Arabi of the United Arab Emirates came from a goal down to beat a 10-man Lekhwiya of Qatar 3-1. Lekhwiya could have advanced with a win but now will be hoping for a win against Al Ittifaq of Saudi Arabia in its final group match.
The Qatari side grabbed the lead in the 37th with a fine individual effort by Youssef Msakni late in the first half. But Al Shabab Al Arabi’s Essa Obaid leveled just seconds after the halftime interval before substitute Ciel put the home side ahead with a tap-in in the 77th minute.
Lekhwiya were reduced to 10 men when Sebastian Soria was dismissed for elbowing and Edgar (Edgar Bruno da Silva) capped the victory with a goal in stoppage time.
Just like Lekhwiya, Uzbek champions Pakhtakor failed to advance after it lost 2-0 to Al Ettifaq — leaving all four teams fighting for the two knockout spots.
Shehri gave the home side the lead midway through the first half with a shot from 30 meters and then Jamaan Al-Jamaan curled in the Saudi club’s second four minutes before the break to seal the three points.
With the win, Al Shabab Al Arabi moved up to six points, two behind Lekhwiya in a tight Group B, which will go down to the final round of games.


Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower

Updated 9 min 21 sec ago
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Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower

  • Haroun Kamara has only played seven times for his club side
  • Green Falcons to play Algeria and Greece next month

Al-Qadisiyah’s 20-year-old striker Haroun Kamara has been given an opportunity to stake an unlikely claim for a World Cup spot after being surprisingly named in Juan Antonio Pizzi’s squad for a three-week training camp in Spain.
Kamara, who was born in Jeddah to Guinean parents, has only made seven league appearances for lowly Al-Qadisiyah, scoring four goals and claiming two assists, but he has been given the chance to shine in friendlies against Algeria on May 9 and Greece six days later and book a seat on the plane to Russia.
The youngster follows in the footsteps of the likes of Somalian-British Mukhtar Ali and Egyptian Ahmed Al-Fiqi as the Saudi Football Federation look to harness the pool of players born in the Kingdom to expats and increase the depth of the Green Falcons’ squad.
Pizzi has turned to Kamara having struggled to find options in attack. Hazza Al-Hazza and Mujahid Al-Mania, who were both given their debuts over the past six months, have failed to convince upfront, while Mohannad Assiri has just one goal for his country in more than seven years. Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, who has 26 goals in 33 internationals, is favorite to lead the line, but Pizzi needs more options in attack.
In goal, Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais and Fawaz Al-Qarni retain their place in the squad, while Al-Nassr’s Waleed Abdullah, who featured in the last squad, made way for Al-Hilal’s Abdullah Al-Mayouf. Only three goalkeepers will be selected for the final 23-man squad.
In defense, Ali Al-Bulayhi is in line for a debut, having established himself as a key player at the heart of Al-Hilal defense, while Mohammed Al-Burayk’s performances at right-back for the Blues earned him a recall to the squad for the first time under Pizzi, replacing Hassan Muath.
The three Hawsawis — Osama, Omar and Motaz — retain their places as do full-backs Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi and Saeed Al-Muwallad. The backline is edging closer to taking shape as Mohammed Jahfali, who was first brought into the squad in March’s friendlies against Ukraine and Belgium, looks to have done enough to convince Pizzi to hand him a second opportunity.
There were no real surprises in midfield as the team is boosted by the recovery of two high-profile names. Nawaf Al-Abed makes his long-awaited return to the national team set-up, having suffered an injury in November’s ill-fated Portugal camp under the now departed coach Edgardo Bauza. Al-Abed’s Al-Hilal teammate, Salman Al-Faraj, is also back in the squad after recovering from a three-month injury lay-off.
Spain-based trio Fahad Al-Muwallad, Yahya Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari miss out due to club commitments.

 

Saudi Arabia squad for games against Algeria (May 9) and Greece (May 15)

Goalkeepers: Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais, Fawaz Al-Qarni, Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
Defenders: Osama Hawsawi, Motaz Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Jahfal, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Saeed Al-Muwallad, Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi.
Midfielders: Abdulmalik Al-Khaibari, Abdllah Al-Khaibari, Ibrahim Ghaleb, Abdullah Otayf, Taisir Al-Jassim, Hussein Al-Moqahwi, Salman Al-Faraj, Nawaf Al-Abed, Mohammad Kanno, Mohammed Al-Kuwaikbi, Hattan Bahebri.
Forwards: Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, Mohannad Assiri, Haroun Kamara