Mahmoud Ahmad, Arab News Staff
Saturday 20 December 2003
Last Update 20 December 2003 12:00 am
JEDDAH, 20 December 2003 — Goals at the death proved the undoing of three teams in the Prince Faisal ibn Fahd Soccer Tournament with Al-Ittihad of Jeddah becoming the latest victim, losing their match against Al-Hilal 3-2 at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium here yesterday.
After being down 1-2 at the break, Hilal came back strongly late in the second half to steal a march over Ittihad with a 3-2 victory. The winner was scored in the 89th minute.
Ittihad’s loss came in the wake of another Jeddah outfit’s defeat, 1-0, at the stroke of time. On Thursday, Al-Ahli did much of the running but Al-Shabab won the day in their encounter at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium.
Abdullah Al-Dossary secured the match-winner in the 90th minute with a clinical strike.
In Thursday’s other match, in Dammam, Al-Ittifaq too left it till late against Al-Nasr in a keen clash.
With the fortunes of the match swinging like a pendulum, a 90th minute Muhammad Al-Seheli’s strike enabled Ittifaq beat Nasr by a solitary goal.
In the second match of the event yesterday, Al-Taie used their home advantage to good effect to eke out a 1-0 victory over Al-Qadisiya.
Ittihad and their fans would not have dreamt of the surprise ending to a script they had started so vigorously.
With the goodly crowd cheering them on, Ittihad racked up two goals within the space of five minutes to put the pressure on Hilal.
First Hussein Al-Ghosi crowned a superb solo effort in the 11th minute and then Mesar Al-Qahtani added the second in the 16th, pouncing on a defensive lapse to shoot home.
Hilal, however, got into the goalscoring act in the 20th minute when Ahmed Al-Suweileh knocked in a superb header and he once again used his head to bring Hilal level in the 78th minute.
The equalizer was all the more sweet as Hilal had fluffed a penalty offer in the 61st minute.
And just when the match was petering out into a draw, Badr Al-Karrashi infused fresh life into the game with a dashing run down the middle to rock Ittihad with a splendid goal.