x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Baniyas get past Al Khor to win Gulf Clubs Championship

Mohamed Aboutrika and Nawaf Mubarak each scored to lift Banyias to a 2-0 win and clinch the two-legged final against Al Khor 3-1 on aggregate score, writes Amith Passela.

Baniyas’ Christian Wilhelmsson, left, gets past Al Khor‘s Abdulrahman Al Hajaj during the Gulf Clubs Championship on Thursday night. Jake Badger for The National.
Baniyas’ Christian Wilhelmsson, left, gets past Al Khor‘s Abdulrahman Al Hajaj during the Gulf Clubs Championship on Thursday night. Jake Badger for The National.

Baniyas 2 Al Khor 0

Baniyas win 3-1 on aggregate score

Baniyas Aboutrika 26’, Mubarak 81’

Red cards Reza Shanbeh (Al Khor)

Man of the match Nawaf Mubarak (Baniyas)

SHAMKHA // Salem Al Orafi relived his title triumph at Baniyas as a player in 1992, this time coaching his old team to the Gulf Clubs Championship on Thursday night.

As a player and captain, Al Orafi held the President’s Cup aloft after Baniyas shocked Al Nasr in the final, then waited almost 21 years to win the second title in the history of the club.

Last month, Al Orafi was appointed the interim coach after Jozef Chovanec was moved from manager to a technical consultant position.

Mohamed Aboutrika and Nawaf Mubarak scored on either side of the half-time break for Baniyas to emerge 2-0 winners, clinching the two-legged final against Al Khor 3-1 on aggregate score.

“For me, it was a personal milestone after I led the team as a player to the President’s Cup, which was the only trophy we have won,” the Baniyas coach said.

“And to lead the team to a second title as coach was something like a dream.”

Aboutrika scored on his third attempt after Andre Senghor headed a free kick from Mubarak into his path.

The Egyptian then turned into the provider, rolling a free kick for Mubarak to powerfully strike home from inside the box to take the tension-filled game to safety, nine minutes from time.

Baniyas, who sit in fourth place in the Pro League, played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg last Friday in Qatar.

“I must thank all my players for giving their best in the two games,” Al Orafi said. “We were just focused on winning a trophy, which we haven’t achieved for more than two decades.”

Aboutrika’s first attempt from eight yards was blocked by Baba Djibril, the Al Khor keeper, and Mohammed Al Alawi, smothered the next. Yet he made no mistake on the third shot.

Baniyas were unlucky not to further extend their lead, when Senghor’s effort from the top of the box ricocheted off the crossbar.

Al Khor were without their Brazilian forward, Bruno Mineiro, serving a one-match ban after being sent off for two bookings in the first leg.

And they lost another Brazilian, Madson, through injury in the first half and were reduced to 10 players in the last quarter when Reza Shanbeh was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Haboush Saleh would have put the icing on the cake 15 minutes from time had he been more accurate with his effort, instead he bludgeoned it straight at Djibril from space created by Aboutrika.

“We played to win the home leg rather than trying to defend the away goal,” Al Orafi said. “We created several chances and we were the better team on the night and deserved this win and the trophy.”

apassela@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE