Mahmoud Ahmad, Arab News
Tuesday 8 February 2005
Last Update 8 February 2005 12:00 am
JEDDAH, 8 February 2005 — Barring disaster, Al-Ahli and Al-Nasr are to battle it out in the quarterfinals after a draw was made for the Crown Prince Cup soccer tournament which kicks off on Feb. 15.
The 16 teams in the fold play a two-stage elimination and the big teams Al-Shabab, Al-Qadiseya, Ahli, Nasr, Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad are expected to advance against weak teams.
The elimination round matches will pit Shabab against Khaleej in Riyadh, Qadiseya against Riyadh in Dammam, Ahli against Al-Watani in Jeddah, Nasr against Al-Ansar in Riyadh, Ittihad against Najran in Jeddah, Ittifaq against Taie in Hail, Hilal against Raid in Riyadh and Wehda against Ohod in Makkah.
Besides the early exit from the competition of either Ahli or Nasr the draw also points to a mouth-watering clash between Hilal and Ittihad in the semifinals which will use the home-and-away format. The final match is to be determined later.
Meantime, Hilal is sitting pretty at the top of the King Fahd Cup soccer league with 38 points after they won the match against Al-Ahli of Jeddah in Riyadh 2-1 last Friday. Hilal increased the gap over the second ranked Shabab who have 33 points.
In Dammam, Qadiseya beat Ohod of Madinah 2-1. With the win, Qadiseya advanced to eighth position with 17 points while Ohod remained last with mere five points. Ittihad of Jeddah scored a 4-3 home victory over Ittifaq of Dammam. Ittihad moved up to third position with 28 points while Ittifaq remained in 11th position and in the danger of being relegated with nine points.