Friday,20 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013
Friday,20 October, 2017
Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013

Ahram Weekly

Soccer on the side: Close to being champions

Salah, Al-Nenni and Treika are on verge of titles, reports Marwan Zayed

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Adam Al-Abd’s Brighton will not play championship football next season as they failed to beat Crystal Palace at home after drawing away in the first leg. The game ended in a 2-0 for Palace thanks to Manchester United’s new signing Wilfred Zaha double. The English youngster tormented Al-Abd’s fellow defenders throughout the whole game and managed to put two goals past Brighton’s keeper to clinch a place for his team in the final against Watford City. Al-Abd watched the game from the bench once again which has been the case since his suspension 10 games ago. Although Egyptian fans will be disappointed to see Al-Abd and his team failing to seal promotion, they can still look forward to watching Mohamadi and hopefully Gedo and Fathi in the Premier League next season.
Mohamed Salah and Al-Nenni took a huge step towards clinching the Swiss league title after Basel defeated Lausanne Sport 2-0 at home. Both Salah and Al-Nenni played the full game and performed admirably as always. Salah in particular played a very good game and won his team a penalty that Streller missed plus playing a hand in his team’s second goal as he crossed for Stocker who played in Frei to seal the win. Salah won the penalty when an opponent defender saved Salah’s shot with his hand from inside the box but the keeper denied Salah an assist and Streller a goal with a brilliant save. The win meant Basel stayed top six points clear of Grasshopper with the two teams meeting next week.
After guiding his team to the final of the Gulf champions league final, Mohamed Au Treika once again helped Banni Yas clinch a vital draw away from home in the final against El Khor. Treika came close to scoring when he hit the post and managed to play a part in the goal when he passed to Lahboush who crossed for Senghour to score his side’s vital equaliser.  Apart from that, Treika wasn’t really at his very best in the game but still managed to show glimpses of his undoubted brilliance with some classy passes and incredible skills. The Egyptian legend came off 12 minutes from time to a standing ovation from the travelling fans who consider him their talisman. Hopefully Treika will be able to repeat his semi-final heroics in the second leg to win the title for his side.
Ahmed Hegazi’s dream of playing in the Champions League next season vanished in heartbreaking fashion on the final day of the season. The Viola or Fiorentina needed to win their away game against Pescara and see AC Milan drawing or losing against Siena to steal the third spot from the Italian giants.  Up until the 84th minute Fiorentina were 5-1 up in their game while AC Milan were 1-0 down against Siena which made the dream closer than ever for the Viola fans. Astonishingly, Milan managed to equalise in the 85th minute through Italian sensation Mario Balotelli and clinched a winner two minutes from time to break the hearts of the Viola fans and players. Most of the Fiorentina players burst into tears after their game as their dream of securing Champions League football was just five minutes away from becoming real which made it all the harder to take. Heartbreaking is the least that can be said about what happened to Fiorentina’s fans and players in the last five minutes of the final game of the season. Hegazi watched his side’s big win from the bench but looked as distressed as his teammates after the final whistle.
In Portugal, Ahmed Hassan Kouka finished the season with Rio Ave with a win as they defeated Vitoria Guimaraes 1-0 away from home. Although Kouka couldn’t score in the game, he played a very good match and looked sharp throughout the 83 minutes he played and had several half chances to score but couldn’t find the back of the net. Rio Ave managed to finish the season in seventh place after that win.
Arab and African: In Germany, Ivorian star Arthur Boka scored a goal for Stuttgart as they drew 2-2 against Mainz in their final game of the season.
Still in Germany, Hannover managed to beat Dusseldorf 3-0 at home with two African players appearing on the score sheet in the form of Senegalese striker Mama Diouf who scored the first goal and Ivorian star Didier Ya Konan who scored the second and third goals.
In Spain, Moroccan winger Youssef el Arabi scored a goal for Granada in his side’s 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad away from home and scored another in their 3-0 win over Osasuna at home.
In France, Saber Khelifa scored the first goal for Evian in their 2-0 win over Valenciennes at home.

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