|Morjan celebrates his sensational opener|
At the time of writing, Shabab Al-Dhahrieh are on course to progress past the group stage of the 2016 AFC Cup.
Dhahrieh’s first two match days didn’t go to plan, to say the least. The side suffered the first ever home loss by a WBPL side in a 2-0 loss to Air Force Club (Iraq) on the first match day.
In the following match day, seven of their players were sequestered in Beirut’s Rafic Al-Hariri Airport for possessing Israeli passports. The ensuing match was postponed as a result with its fate yet to be determined.
Highlights and more after the jump…
On the third match day the team conspired to throw away a 1-0 lead- settling for a 1-1 draw vs. today’s opposition Al-Oruba.
On this day however, the result proved to be dramatically different. The Oryxes started on the front foot and were rewarded for their early high pressing of the opposition with a goal. Abed Morjan scored his second of the tournament- punishing Riyadh Sabeit’s poor positioning in front of goal.
The early goal proved to be a shot in the arm for a much maligned side. Shabab Al-Dhahrieh surrendered their WBPL title earlier this week without much of a fight and are currently languishing 18 points behind newly crowned champions Shabab Al-Khaleel.
Abdelfattah Arrar’s side were allowed the opportunity to sit back, absorb pressure, and hit Al-Oruba on the counter for most of the game. The knockout punch came twenty minutes into the second half- Mus’ab Battat’s service in the box was finished by Mohammed Fode. The slick finish delivered Shabab Al-Dhahrieh their first AFC Cup win and the side can now aspire to a second place finish and a spot in the round of 16.
The 2-0 win also marked the first time a Palestinian side won an AFC Cup encounter by more than one goal.