Kalba beat Al Nasr in League Cup semis 1st leg - GulfToday

Kalba beat Al Nasr in League Cup semis 1st leg

Arabian Gulf Cup

Ittihad Kalba and Al Nasr players in action during their Arabian Gulf Cup semi-final first leg at Al Maktoum Stadium on Tuesday.

Ittihad Kalba beat Al Nasr 2-1 at Al Maktoum Stadium to seal first leg advantage in the Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finals held under the slogan Hope Probe in conjunction with the arrival of the Hope probe to Mars’ orbit.

The Tigers missed an early chance to take the lead when Davide Mariani’s effort was blocked by Al Nasr defender Mohamed Ayed.

Al Nasr were then dealt a huge blow after Mohamed Fawzi was shown a straight red card and Kalba were awarded a penalty only five minutes into the game. The Blues had to continue the rest of the game with 10 men only, while Peniel Mlapa converted from the spot to hand the guests a 1-0 lead.

It turned out to be an eventful half, as Kalba doubled their lead in the 18th minute. Mlapa turned from scorer to provider as he launched a quick counterattack before crossing to Nasir Abdelhadi who tapped past Al Nasr keeper Ahmed Shambih.

The Blues missed a chance to reduce the deficit from Caique Jesus attempt. Kalba keeper Jamal Abdulla was then called into action, as he blocked Diaa Saba’s powerful effort in the 34th minute.

The hosts pressure eventually paid off when they were awarded a penalty after reviewing the VAR and Toze converted from the spot, as Kalba headed into halftime with a 2-1 lead.

Kalba nearly made it 3-1 but Shambih pulled off a fine save to deny Majed Rashid in injury time, as the guests ensured they would return home with an advantage.

S.KOREA’S LEE JOINS PORTIMONENSE: South Korea international Lee Seung-woo has joined Portuguese side Portimonense on loan until the end of the season from Belgian club Sint Truiden.

The 23-year-old joins a Portimonense squad with a strong Asian flavour, containing Japanese trio Keisuke Honda, Koki Anzai and Kosuke Nakamura as well as Jafar Salmani from Iran.

Lee, who was a member of the South Korea squad that appeared at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals and was also a gold medal winner at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, played 13 times this season for Sint Truiden, scoring twice.

Previously on the books of Barcelona, where he came through the club’s La Masia academy, Lee spent two seasons with Hellas Verona in Italy before joining Sint Truiden.

Portimonense, who won Portugal’s second division title in 2017, are currently struggling in the nation’s top flight, where they are 15th in the 18-team league, one point clear of the relegation zone.

JORDAN’S SHAFI TO HANG UP BOOTS: Jordan national team goalkeeper Amer Shafi has announced his full retirement after standing between the posts for more than 25 years, the Jordanian Football Association confirmed on Monday.

The 38-year-old custodian was part of the Jordan squad in their inaugural AFC Asian Cup participation in 2004, helping the team reach the quarter-finals of the competition that year.

He represented Jordan in 176 matches since making his international debut in 2000 and took part in the 2011, 2015 and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Finals.

“I took the hardest ever decision in my life which came after long consideration and advice and I now officially announce the end of my 25-year career,” said Shafi in a video published by the Jordanian FA.

“I felt that it will be hard to maintain the same level and readiness that helped me represent the Jordan national team and decided to leave while on top,” he added.

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