MOHANAD AND ALAA NET BRACES IN COMFORTABLE WIN
Mohanad Ali and Alaa Abdul-Zahra, the Iraqi Premier League's two top scorers at 16 and 17 goals respectively, both scored twice as Al Shorta cruised to a 4-0 demolition of Naft Al Junoob.
Al Shorta were two up at the break as two impressive counter-attacks led to two tap-in goals, first for Mohanad (assisted by Alaa) and then for Alaa (assisted by Alassane Diallo).
It was much of the same in the second half as the Harps added a third and a fourth, again both from close range, and missed plenty more chances in a game of one-way traffic at Al Shaab Stadium.
The Police sit on top of the league with 60 points, nine points clear of Al Quwa Al Jawiya but having played a game more than the Falcons.
LEAGUE LEADERS EARN FIRST DERBY WIN OF THE SEASON
Al Shorta picked up their first Baghdad Derby victory for the season with a 2-0 victory over Al Talaba at Al Shaab Stadium.
The Harps were on the back foot in the first half as Al Talaba came out hungry with intent to end Al Shorta's impressive run of clean sheets. 'Al Aneeq' had a goal disallowed and saw a header saved by Mohammed Hameed as the first half ended goalless.
But Al Shorta came out a different side in the second period and took the lead within minutes as Alaa Abdul-Zahra coolly converted a spot kick won by Mohanad Ali. And it was Mohanad who made it 2-0 with an impressive solo goal assisted by 'keeper Hameed from a fantastic long ball.
The win sees Al Shorta's lead at the top temporarily increase to twelve points, but Al Quwa Al Jawiya have two games in hand over the five-time champions.
MOHANAD ALI FIRES AL SHORTA TO VICTORY AT AL NAFT
18 year-old starlet Mohanad Ali scored a brilliant volley and Mohammed Hameed made an excellent penalty save as leaders Al Shorta extended their unbeaten run in the league to 34 games.
The goal came on 40 minutes when Alaa Mhawi's cross was met with a swinging right boot from Mimi on the edge of the box and the 'keeper could not keep it out as the Harps took the lead.
The Police thought they were going to drop two points when the referee controversially pointed to the spot on 85 minutes for a supposed foul by Faisal Jassim, but were relieved when Mohammed Hameed expertly denied Mazen Fayyadh with a save, earning his 15th clean sheet from 22 games.
Next up for the unbeaten leaders is a Baghdad Derby with Al Talaba and the five-time champions will be looking for a first derby win of the season.
AL SHORTA HELD TO GOALLESS DRAW BY RIVALS AL ZAWRAA
Iraqi Premier League leaders Al Shorta drew 0-0 with rivals Al Zawraa at Al Shaab Stadium in what is their sixth consecutive draw against the Gulls.
Police fans turned up in their droves to support the five-time champions and they almost had a goal to celebrate early on but Alaa Abdul-Zahra saw his effort saved by Jalal Hassan and Amjad Atwan had a shot deflected just wide.
Al Zawraa responded by carving out a good chance for Alaa Abbas but the Iraq international blazed over. The second half was controlled by the Harps and the biggest chance of the game fell to Karrar Jassim but his close-range effort flew well over the bar.
Al Shorta remain undefeated and are top of the league but will be disappointed that they have failed to pick up a win against any of their three closest title challengers so far this campaign. Their next two games are both difficult as Al Naft and Al Talaba await the leaders.
AL SHORTA MAKE IT CLUB RECORD 32 UNBEATEN WITH WIN IN NAJAF
Al Shorta made it a club record 32 consecutive league matches without defeat thanks to Mohanad Ali's solo goal sealing a 1-0 win at Naft Al Wasat.
The goal came in the second half as Mimi deftly controlled the ball after a long kick by 'keeper Mohammed Hameed and burst towards goal before firing it beyond the Naft Al Wasat 'keeper.
The Harps dominated proceedings at the home of the 2014-15 champions and could have had more but will be delighted to kick off the second half of the season with another three points in the bag.
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