The match was a close encounter from the first minute. Al Jazira, inspired with excellent display of goalkeeper Ahmed Alsheen, who saved three penalties during first half, pivot Abdulhameed “Mido” Aljunibi and Egyptian professional Ali Zein, took the halftime lead. In the second half, Al Ahli, strengthened with Slovenian international left-back Klemen Cehte, managed to equalize early. The scoreline was tight until 47th minute, when, despite strong effort of Essa Mahamad and his Al Ahli teammates, Jazira took 22:18 lead and seemed to cruise to an easy victory.
Only 90 seconds before the end, Al Jazira held comfortable result – 28:24. However, Al Jazira was unable to cope with Al Ahli full-pitch pressing and counter-attacks, followed with easy execution from the wings. Al Ahli had a chance to equalize only 9 seconds before the final whistle, but counter-attack sitter was brilliantly stopped by Al Jazira goalkeeper Ahmed Alsheen. After this moment, a huge celebration of an outstanding achievement has began.
Al Jazira Chairman H.E. Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, manager Awad Al Yaqoubi, coach Walid Ben Amor and players wrote their names in the history of the Abu Dhabi giant, winning UAE Championship and President Cup and finishing with the bronze medal on the GCC championship.
TEXT: Marko Selakovic