- Saturday, 26 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Ahmad Abdelhalim and Amer Abuhwaiti netted extra-time goals as Jordan’s Al Wehdat downed Abdou Jammeh’s Kuwaiti side Kazma 2-1 to reach the AFC Cup quarter-finals for a second year in a row.
Jammeh played the full game and was steady in his challenges at the back but after a scoreless 90 minutes in the Round of 16 clash at the King Abdullah International Stadium, the Group D winners took control in extra time as Abdelhalim struck in the 94th minute and Abdelhalim added his side’s second eight minutes later.
Yousef Naser pulled back a goal for Tea-Boy’s Kazma with a penalty in the final minute of extra-time but it was little more than a consolation for the Group D runners-up.
There were few chances of note during regulation time as Kazma’s best opportunity in the opening 90 minutes fell to Mashari Al Azmi who launched a long-distance effort that flew narrowly wide late in the first half.
At the other end, Al Wehdat went close through Mahmoud Shelbaieh, who saw his close range effort denied by Kazma goalkeeper Hussain Kankone in stoppage time. But the game came to life in the extra 30 minutes as Al Wehdat finally broke the deadlock after a neat pass by Abuhwaiti on the edge of the Kazma area released Abdelhalim, who burst clear and slotted the ball between the legs of Kankone.
Abuhwati then turned from provider to scorer as he got on the end of a low cross from the right flank by Ahmad Halaweh to slot home from close range. There were few chances of note during regulation time.
Kazma would get a goal themselves right at the end of extra-time when Yousef Naser beat Al Wehdat goalkeeper Amer Shafi from the penalty spot after he had been fouled himself in the Al Wehdat box.
However, the referee [Saeid Mozaffarizadeh] blew for full time almost immediately after the restart to signal the Jordanian side’s passage through to the last eight for the fourth time in seven seasons.
“Our side performed well and we gave Al Wehdat a hard time today,” said Kazma coach Milan Máčala. “Our opponents have a great history in this competition and they played well today and were looking for the win which they finally got in extra time.”
“Our side is young and I believe that Kazma have good future with the players that we have. Going out of the competition doesn’t mean that we are not good but that the players need a lot of experience.”
Jammeh and his Kazma will now have to concentrate on maintaining themselves in the Kuwaiti Premier League as they sit 5th on the 8-team-table with 22 points and two games left to end their season.