Rapid Reaction: Hilal Al-Quds 3:1 Dordoi Bishkek (AFC President’s Cup)

Locker Room Jubilation

A brace including a stoppage time goal by Hilal Al-Quds substitute Alaa Roma helped secure the Jerusalem club’s first win and send Dordoi of Kyrgyzstan crashing out of the tournament. 

Hilal Al-Quds Starting XI: Azzam (GK); Abu Saleh, Salah, Barghouthi, Jaber, Maen Jamal, Roberto Kettlun, Salhe (57′), Meary, Albadan

Alaa Roma (85, 90+3) <-> Mohammed Jamal // Hesham Salhe <-> Adnan Saidea // Abu Saleh <-> Wajde Abu Younis

Full Match Available Here. 

Recap: Dordoi had a good chance to open the scoring when striker David Tetteh was one-on-one with Hilal goalkeeper Khaled Azam in the box but he kicked it well above the goal post 16 minutes into the game.

Hilal tried to settle into the game but their counterattacking play was often too slow and too predictable to cause Dordoi any real problems.

Tetteh again had a chance after 26 minutes to open the scoring, but his header was too soft and rolled easily on the ground for Azam to stop it.

Otkeev, who had been quite active throughout the first half won a controversial free kick off Tamer Salah towards the end of the first half. Midfielder Davron Askarov took the free kick quickly setting up  Otkeev who unleashed a shot past Azam in first-half stoppage time to claim the 1-0 lead.
At the end of the first half of action Dordoi had a deserved lead and seemed set to cruise to victory in the second half through their superior possession.
The second half saw Hilal up the tempo of their counters and their efforts to equalise paid off as midfielder Hisham Salhe was the beneficiary of some quick interplay following a Dordoi turnover in the attack third. The veteran midfielder made no mistake slotting home at the near post to make it 1-1. 
Moments later, Sameh Marabaa was free in on the goalkeeper thanks to an exquisite pass by Roberto Kettlun. His hesitance cost him as he ended up dribbling straight into the goalkeeper. 

Mirlan Murzaev had a similar opportunity in the 63rd  minute when he was one-on-one with goalkeeper Azam with two defenders chasing closely behind him but he failed to convert the chance.

On 85 minutes, the pivotal moment for Hilal began as Roma scored his first goal of the match to make it 2-1. However, just six minutes later, within the first minute of stoppage time, Dordoi equalised to 2-2 through substitute Tursunali Rustamov’s goal.

As the game looked heading towards a 2-2 draw, Roma, capitalising on the desperation of Dordoi goalkeeper Matiash who was caught the field up for the previous corner kick, sprinted down the right side of the field and scored his second and AlQuds’ third goal in the 93rd minute.
Challenge Cup Preview: Dordoi Bishkek was the most represented club the last time the Kyrgyz national team played. Providing a whopping 12 out of the 22 players called up for friendlies against Bahrain, Estonia, and Moldova in July. Expect to see David Tetteh, Goalkeeper Pavel Matiash, and Mirlan Marzaev in the Maldives.
Man of the Match: Has to go to Alaa Roma for his splendid 23 minute cameo but I thought Roberto Kettlun played a very important role in transition play for Hilal Al-Quds. He has an x-factor that very few other Palestinian players have and I’d like to see him called up to the national team again. 
What’s Next: Hilal face KRL in the last match of Group B on Friday- a draw would be enough to send them to the final (most likely to be contested against Turkmenistan’s FC Balkan). 

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