- Thursday, 08 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambia international defender Abdou Jammeh and his Kuwaiti Premier League side Kazma SC shared a 1-1 draw in their Asian Football Confederation [AFC] Cup Group B opener against Iraqi Premier League side Arbil SC at the Franso Hariri Stadium on Tuesday with Jammeh going the full length for Kazma.
After Jammeh’s Kazma had produced a much improved second-half display after being forced onto the backfoot for the majority of the first half, 31-year-old Hamad Al Harbi broke the deadlock for the visitors with 18 minutes remaining but just six minutes later, Arbil’s Nigerian striker Obode Efe earned a point for the home side.
“We were the better side in the game and we should have got a victory, but things didn’t go as we wanted,” said Arbil coach Nizar Mahrous. “We controlled the match and we nearly scored a winning goal in the last minutes of the game after having the upper hand, but we couldn’t score from the chances that we had towards the end of the match.”
“Our team played well, although we made some mistakes which gave the chance to Kazma to take the lead. I hope that we can fix these mistakes and have better results in the next matches.”
Abdou Jammeh’s Kazma suffered a blow after just four minutes as Ivorian midfielder Mouhoubé Alex Somian was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Talal Al Fadhil.
Arbil striker Amjad Radhi Yousuf Al Janabi had the first chance of the match four minutes later, but Kazma goalkeeper Shehab Kankoni was up to the task.
The home side continued to dominate as the half progressed with Abdelrazaq Al Hussain and Luay Salah Hassan Al Khafaji playing key roles, with Kazma restricted to counterattacks. The visitors finally created their first real chance eight minutes before half-time as Arbil goalkeeper Sarhang Muhsin Qadir turned away a header from Ismail Sulaiman Ashoor Al Ajmi.
Omani striker Al Ajmi twice went close for the visitors in the opening minutes of the second half and the visitors were rewarded for an improved second-half performance in the 72nd minute when Al Harbi beat Arbil goalkeeper Muhsin from outside of the area.
But just six minutes later, second-half substitute Efe netted for the home side after Syrian midfielder Nadim Ahmad Sabagh had capitalised on poor defending from Kazma defender Mohamed Hamada Barakat.
Arbil came close to snatching all three points with 10 minutes remaining but Salah saw his shot saved by Kazma goalkeeper Kankoni.
“We did well and managed to get a good point and I personally think that this is a satisfying result for the two teams especially because we didn’t know much about Arbil,” said Kazma coach Milan Máčala. “We missed good chances to score, especially in the first half, while Arbil also played well and I believe that the draw was good for the two sides.”
“Kazma made a good start to the second half and we should have scored through Ismail Al Ajmi but eventually we managed to take the lead. However, Arbil equalised as they took advantage of a defensive mistake by our players.”
Abdou Jammeh and his Kazma will play next in the AFC Cup on March 20th against Indian Premier League side East Bengal F.C but will first have to concentrate on the Kuwaiti Premier League as they face Al Nasar next on Saturday and Al Qadsia on March 13th in the final of the 2011/2012 Emir Cup, a cup which Jammeh’s Kazma are the defending champions and have won it 7 times.