2nd Stage of Excellent Football Tournament Started in Aden Sho’la Takes Revenge [Archives:1998/07/Sports]

February 16 1998

Following one month and a half of respite, the Excellent Football League 2nd stage was started on Thursday, February 12th in Aden. The first match between the Sho’la of Aden and Wahda of Sanaa was quite exciting, considering that Wahda had previously defeated Sho’la 1-nil in the first stage of the tournament. So Sho’la was able in the 2nd stage to avenge itself by defeating Wahda 1-nil in a match exhibiting Sho’la control and prowess. Were the Sho’la players to take more advantage of Wahda weaknesses, they would have been able to score more goals. Their lone goal came as a result of a penalty kick during the second half of the match.
First Half During the first 45 minutes of the match, Sho’la had the upperhand, up to the mid-field only. Sho’la players kick the ball aimlessly to the point of sometimes boring the spectators. They tried several times to strike against the Wahda goal area, but without success. Wahda defenses were just too strong for them to penetrate. The match continued with a partial control over the field by Sho’la, despite attempts by mid-field players to penetrate and strike against Wahda defenses. All these attempts failed because of rashness and lack of concentration on part of Sho’la players. The Wahda players on the other hand, were also rash and made some errors. Their mid-field action was missing, thus, enabling Sho’la to gain more control. The first half of the match ended in a no-score draw.
Second Half During this half, Sho’la worked hard on consolidating its control of the field and extending it to Wahda’s field. Wahda, on the other hand, continued playing with the same level of the first half of the match, thus, allowing Sho’la to gain more confidence and extend their control to dangerous quarter. The ball remained during the first one-third of the second half almost in mid-field. At the 32nd minute of the second half, Sho’la exerted more pressure by continuously striking against Wahda. The Sho’la striker Mohammed Abdullah was able to cross the 18-yard line and strike the ball. Alas, it strayed off. Two minutes later, another Sho’la striker, Maher Qassem, also crossed the 18-yard line, only to be strongly impeded by the Wahda defenders. The referee whistled, announcing a penalty kick for Sho’la. Executed by Sho’la’s Basil Al-Jamai’, the penalty kick resulted in his team’s lone goal for the match. This goal made Wahda players ‘wake up’ to strongly defend their goal area, and strike against Sho’la. The latter’s defenders proved to be more than strong match for Wahda’s players.