AL SHORTA DRAW SECOND CONSECUTIVE GAME TO LOSE GROUND ON TITLE RACE
A stunning overhead kick from Al Zawraa's Ali Raheem denied Al Shorta all three points in a thrilling Baghdad Derby at Al Shaab Stadium.
Former Al Zawraa man Amjad Waleed opened the scoring for the Harps in the very first minute of the game as his shot deflected into the top corner.
But Al Zawraa equalised less than twenty minutes later, with former Al Shorta attacker Alaa Abdul-Zahra heading past goalkeeper Ahmed Basil, who had a great game between the sticks.
Al Shorta went back in front when they were awarded a penalty for handball which Waleed Salem converted with ease, but Al Zawraa brought the game back to 2-2 before half time when Ali Raheem produced a fantastic overhead kick that left Basil flailing.
The second half was dull in comparison to the energetic first period but both sides missed huge chances, with Amjad Waleed scuffing a shot for Al Shorta and Al Zawraa seeing a late effort cleared off the line by Waleed Salem. Al Zawraa made Amjad Kalaf their captain for the game instead of Alaa Abdul-Zahra, presumably an attempt at mind games due to the fact that Amjad is an Al Shorta legend and seeing him in an Al Zawraa shirt truly pains Al Shorta fans. Amjad was lively in the game but couldn't get a goal or assist against the club where he won two league titles.
The fans in the stadium were fantastic, with the Ultras Green Harp group, Iraq's first ever ultras group, being as loud and creative as always. The draw is Al Shorta's second tie in a row and these four dropped points have made the chances of winning the league title extremely slim as Al Quwa Al Jawiya have six games in hand on the Harps, while Naft Al Wasat have two games in hand over Al Shorta and Al Naft are already two points ahead of the ten-time champions. Al Shorta will be hoping to finish in second place though as that will qualify them for the 2017-18 Arab Club Championship, a tournament they famously won in 1982.
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