Mahmoud Ahmad, Arab News
Published — Saturday 17 March 2007
Last Update 17 March 2007 3:00 am
JEDDAH, 17 March 2007 — Al-Ittihad scored a 1-0 victory over a tough Wehda squad last night in the Saudi Football League at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium here.
Ittihad were looking to score more than five goals in the match but Wehda proved a tough customer.
Like Ittihad, Wehda had hoped to secure the game three points and temporarily take the lead in the standings. The result of this match served one team only, Hilal, who are now on top with 41 points and with one match behind Wehda.
Ittihad were saved by the defender Usama Al-Muwallad who scored the only goal of the match in the last minute of the added time and gave his team three very important points.
Wehda’s performance last night was special enough to cause some embarrassment to Ittihad in front of a large crowd that attended the match. Were it not for Ittihad goalkeeper, Tayseer Al-Nteef, the match would have ended in favor of Wehda. In the second half of the match, Wehda totally dominated the match, especially in the last 10 minutes of the match where Ittihad was held back to their half side of the field and had to rely on fast counter attacks.
Khaled Al-Shamrani received a nice rebound of the shot in the 70th minute by Al-Nteef. Al-Nteef saved Ittihad more than once in the last 10 minutes of the match when Wehda applied extra pressure to score a goal and take advantage of Ittihad defense tactics.
As the match neared the end, Al-Muwallad headed a corner kick, the ball traveling on the left hand side of the goalie. Shortly after, the referee ended the match. Ittihad increased their tally to 32. Notwithstanding the defeat Wehda played one of their most beautiful games in the league. They have 39 points.