AL MINAA HOLD AL SHORTA TO A GOALLESS DRAW IN BASRA
Al Shorta dropped two vital points in the title race as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Al Minaa at the Basra International Stadium.
The Harps are missing four key players (Ahmed Basil, Ali Lateef, Alaa Mhawi and Ayman Hussein) at the AFC U-23 Championship, and it showed on Monday as a dull game ended without a goal.
Al Shorta sit in second place on 23 points, one point behind Al Zawraa having played a game more. It's not an ideal situation for the ten-time champions but the two title rivals are playing each other next Saturday. That game will be a real six-pointer as Al Shorta could be as far as seven points behind Al Zawraa if they lose that match but would be in a good position in the title race if they manage to win.
AMJAD WALEED SINKS NAFT AL WASAT WITH STUNNING STRIKE
Al Shorta temporarily moved to the top of the Iraqi Premier League table on Thursday with an impressive 1-0 win over title challengers Naft Al Wasat in Baghdad.
The Police dominated the match and had the better of the chances but only the one goal came on 36 minutes. Abdul-Qadir Tariq played a lovely ball through to Amjad Waleed, who controlled it with his knee and volleyed it first-time from outside the box. The ball flew into the back of the net and the Al Shorta fans went wild in celebration of one of the best goals of the season.
The game became more cagey entering into the latter stages of the second half but the ten-time champions prevailed despite the absences of Ahmed Basil, Ali Lateef, Alaa Mhawi and Ayman Hussein at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship. The Harps are now on 22 points from a possible 24, sitting on top of the table although Al Zawraa will overtake them with a win on Friday.
MOHANAD ALI SCORES BRACE TO GIVE AL SHORTA SIXTH VICTORY
A brace from Al Shorta's 17 year-old star Mohanad Ali in the first half saw the Police earn their sixth win in seven league games on Sunday.
Mohanad scored his first within the opening two minutes, poking the ball home in front of the goalline after the Naft Al Junoob 'keeper kept out Ahmed Mohammed's header.
Naft Al Junoob went down to ten men in the 40th minute when Alaa Raad stupidly headbutted Ali Faez, and Mohanad Ali doubled the Harps' lead two minutes later with a lovely left-foot finish into the bottom corner.
Naft Al Junoob got themselves back into the game late on when Ahmed Mohammed pushed an opposition player to give away a penalty that was coolly tucked away by Mohammed Al-Ghabbash. The Police managed to hold on for the win, their sixth in seven games, and the ten-time champions now sit in second place in the league, two points behind Al Zawraa who maintain a 100% win record in the league thus far this campaign.
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