Dhofar earn crucial win

MUSCAT, MARCH 14 –
It was a day of mixed fortunes for Omani clubs in the AFC Cup group stage matches on Tuesday as Oman’s Al Suwaiq were outplayed by Jordan’s Al Jazeera 4-0 while Dhofar notched up a 1-0 win against Al Faisaly of Jordan.
The first game was an away match for Al Suwaiq in Amman and they were outclassed by a much superior Al Jazeera as the latter lived up to their billing as lions at home in their Group A second leg match.
In Salalah, Dhofar extracted retribution for their away defeat and came into their own for the first time in the campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Al Faisaly in Group C, riding on Qasim Said’s brilliance.
Qasim, assisted by Khalid al Darmaki, struck a right-footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner of the goal in the 40th minute.
The Omani club kept a watertight defence to hold off Al Faisaly’s attacks and ensured they pocketed three points.
Despite the win, Dhofar remain in Group C’s last spot with four points ahead of their away clash against Lebanon’s Al Ansar. Meanwhile, Al Faisaly stayed top of the group with seven points and will face Syria’s Al Wahda on Matchday Five.
AL SUWAIQ STRUGGLE
In a lop-sided match in Amman, goals from Mohannad al Souliman (39th), Oday al Jafal (41st), Ahmad al Essawi (48th) and Mohammad Tannous (85th) helped Al Jazeera register their third win in four matches.
With the victory, the Jordanian club has also maintained its clean slate of never losing a home game in the AFC Cup. This is their fourth victory at home out of five matches. They have 10 points from four matches and top the Group A standings.
Meanwhile, for Al Suwaiq this was their 11th defeat away from home out of 18 games. They have won only four times and have enforced a draw thrice.
As far as the game was concerned, Mohannad al Souliman for Al Jazeera and Khalid al Hajri for Al Suwaiq were busy in the first 25 minutes of the match.
Al Souliman had a header in the early stages that was too high and Khalid al Hajri got a freekick that he was unable to execute effectively.
Al Suwaiq were a frustrated lot and as a result the team received three yellow cards for Abdulaziz al Muqbali (27th), Abdoulaye Dieng (37th) and Ali al Busaidy (38th).
However, in the 39th minute, assisted by Yazan al Arab, Mohannad al Souliman slammed a pointed header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal as Al Jazeera took the lead.
It sent the home crowd into delirium as Al Jazeera deservedly went 1-0 up.
Two minutes later, it was time for some more magic from Al Jazeera as Oday al Jafal’s left-footed shot from very close range after an assist by Abdullah al Attar ensured a 2-0 scoreline.
Just as the half-time break was approaching, Ahmad al Essawi came to the party for Al Jazeera with his left-footed shot from the right side of the six yard box that found its place at the high centre of the goal.
It was 3-0 at half-time and Al Suwaiq were clueless.
In the second-half, Al Suwaiq kept working to salvage some pride by trying to pull a goal or two back but to no avail.
In the 57th minute, Hussain al Hadhri was shown a yellow card for a bad foul as Al Suwaiq’s struggles continued.
Mohammad Tannous made it 4-0 for Al Jazeera in the 85th minute when on an assist by Shadi al Hamwi, he struck a left-footed shot from the left side of the six-yard box to the top left corner of the goal.
It was a day that Al Suwaiq would want to forget in a hurry as nothing went right for them.
Al Jazeera cemented their position at the top of Group A with 10 points ahead of their home fixture against Air Force Club.
Al Suwaiq remain in last spot with no points and will host Malkiya on Matchday Five.