Al Shabab’s hopes of salvaging their season in the GCC Club Cup Championship came to naught Tuesday night, despite a strong effort that saw the Dubai club force the game into extra time before the Omani club Saham won 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out.
Al Shabab win game but fall in GCC Club Cup on aggregate
AL SHABAB 3 SAHAM 1
Al Shabab - Villanueva 32’, Dahi 35’, 58’ Saham - Jauhar 44’
Red cards - Qassim (Al Shabab)
Man of the match - Sulaiman Al Bariki (Al Shabab)
4-4 on aggregate; Saham win 5-4 on penalties
DUBAI // Al Shabab’s hopes of salvaging their season in the GCC Club Cup Championship came to naught Tuesday night, despite a strong effort that saw the Dubai club force the game into extra time before the Omani club Saham won 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out.
Winners by 3-1 at home in the first leg of the semi-final last week, Saham scored a crucial away goal a minute before the break after Carlos Villanueva and Esam Dahi had given Shabab a 2-0 lead, but Dahi struck for a second time to make it 3-1 for Shabab in the 58th minute and level the aggregate score at 4-4.
Five minutes before Dahi’s second of the night, Shabab were reduced to 10 men following Mahmoud Qassim’s second booking, but with Saham unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority in regulation time, and missing a penalty in the second minute of injury time, the tie had to be decided on penalties. The Omani goalkeeper Sulaiman Al Bariki made two stops to take his team into the final.
Saham now await the winner of the second semi-final, where Al Nasr meet another Omani club, Al Nahda, in the second leg in Dubai tonight. The first leg in Muscat last week ended 1-1.
“Nobody expected our team to progress beyond the group stages to reach the final,” said Abdulrazzak Khairy, the Saham coach.
“So we have done a really great job and I congratulate everyone involved. Let’s hope we can go on to win the final as well.
“This is a really good result for Omani football. In 25 years, no Omani team has won the title. So let’s hope we have an all-Oman final.”
For Shabab, who slipped from second to finish fourth in the Arabian Gulf League standings after managing two points from their last six games, it was a disappointing end to the season, but coach Marcos Paqueta was pleased with the way his players fough.
“I want to congratulate my players,” he said.
“They showed a lot of courage and fought a lot, even after we lost one player.
“So while I am not happy with our exit from the tournament, I am really pleased with the effort of the players and their attitude tonight.”
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