Red Surprise Ahli Ties Talaba of Iraq 0-0 [Archives:1998/36/Sports]
The Talaba Iraqi team is one of the strongest Arab football teams. It has won many championships in Asia and the Arab world. Therefore, Talaba was expected to win in its match against Al-Ahli of Yemen in the Asian Cups Champs Championship held in Sanaa last Friday, 5 September.
Before the match started, the secretary general of Al-Ahli club announced that he will resign if Al-Ahli was defeated by more than 2 goals. As the first half started, both the teams began attacking. The first corner was for Yemen. Although Al-Ahli attacked a lot, the high physical fitness of the Iraqi players seemed to be much better.
During the second half, Al-Ahli directed the match and intensively attacked the Iraqi square. Ali Al-Noono of Al-Ahli greatly annoyed the Iraqi defenders and at the 72nd minute of the match he delivered a strong shot to the Iraqi goal which, unfortunately, went just outside the left pillar. In the 84th minute of the match, the Iraqi player Qahtan Hatheeth sent a shot to inside the Yemeni goal which was offside. Hot attacks continued until the match was over.
A press conference was held after the match. The coaches of both the teams showed admiration for the performance of their players.
In spite of all the difficulties, Al-Ahli was able to make a very good showing. An unexpected result was really a big surprise which made some of the fans even cry out of happiness.