Hasan’s golden strike for Bahrain
DOHA ISMAEEL Hasan’s 88-thminute golden strike ensured that Bahrain earned one of the most prestigious gold medals of the Arab Games 2011, edging Jordan in the football final 1-0 at Al Sadd Stadium, on Friday.
The match was played prior to the closing ceremony of the 15-day Games, attended by the Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, also the chairman of Qatar Olympic Committee.
The game started at a very fast pace as both sides looked determined to go home with the crowning glory but poor finishing robbed the game of a goal until the 88th minute of play. Jordanian defender Salman Suleiman squared a pass for Nasser Shariff. The energetic Hasan intercepted the ball just 10 yards away from the box. He used his smart pace and brute strength to enter the box and calmly slot it beyond goalkeeper Alamaireh to trigger a huge jubilation among the Bahraini fans.
Four minutes before the goal, Hasan had missed an excellent opportunity. A corner kick was taken from the right flank and the ball just needed a touch from him but he somehow missed it on the touchline.
Just after seven minutes into the match, Jordan had the first chance of the match coming to Daradreh Hamza. The striker nodded the ball from a corner kick forcing a save from Bahraini goalkeeper Abbas Sayed Mohamed.
Hamza soon found his way into the Bahrain box again, using his pace but Alobaidli Ebrahim tripped him. The referee ignored his claim for penalty.
On the hour mark, Jordan had 56 percent of the possession dominating the game with Murjan Saeed coordinating move after move from the centre.
With the match progressing without a goal, both sides started to get impatient. Jordan’s Bani Ateyah Khalil was given a yellow card for rash tackle on Alhayam Waleed in the 34th minute. Two minutes later, Bahrain’s Alalawi Mohamed was also shown the yellow card.
Jordan rocked the crossbar in the 39th minute. Murjan’s looping strike off a corner kick hit the bar otherwise it would have been an incredible strike.
With the first half ending goalless, it was Bahrain’s coach Peter Taylor, whose pep talk seemed to be working. His players showed courage and resilience, battling for every ball and covering for each other.
Bahrain came close to scoring when a glorious chance came for Hasan. The towering striker was able to beat two Jordanian defenders but his pot-shot from inside the box was wide.
Showing more purpose and coordination, Bahrain opened another gap and Alobaidli’s header was just a whisker away from hitting the net in the 55th minute. The defender leapt above the Jordanian back four to power his header only to miss the mark and bring some respite to Jordnian coach Hamad Adnan.
Atteyah Khalil’s dashing runs for Jordan caused a few moments of concern to the Bahraini defence. On one occasion, he darted down the Bahrain territory and was fouled. Off a resultant free kick in the 65th minute just 25 from yards from the box, Suleiman Baha’s effort was parried to safety by goalkeeper Abbas.
On Thursday, Kuwait beat Palestine 3-0 after extra time to win the bronze medal match at Al Gharrafa Sports Club.
Kuwait scored twice in two minutes in the extra time to stun the Palestinians. In the 92nd minute, Husain Almosawi slammed a volley off a deep cross from the right which flew into the corner of the net, leaving no chance to goalkeeper Tawfiq Abuhammad.
In addition, Fahed Alrashidi ran to pick a through-ball and chipped over the advancing Abuhammad in the 94th minute.
Palestine continued to battle hard, but Bader Almotawaa finished a Kuwait break-away to end the contest with a minute left.
On the final day of the Arab Games, which had eight gold medals up for grabs, Qatar’s rider Ali al Rumaihi emerged the champion in the individual jumping at Al Shaqab.
The host also gained a silver and a bronze medal to finish with an impressive and bestever 110-medal haul. Shooter Mohammed Ahmed al Rumaihi got the second place behind Kuwait’s Naser Meqlad, the winner of the men’s trap event.
Women’s foil team won the bronze in the team event, won by Tunisia.
Egypt claimed the men’s epee team title, while the cycling’s two final golds were landed by Moroccan Adil Jelloul (individual road race) and Algerian (team road race).
Egypt stood tall on the medals tally, with 90 golds, 76 silvers out of 233-strong haul.
Tunisia followed it with a booty of 138, which was embellished with 54 golds and 45 silvers.