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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 17:23, April 26, 2007
Second half blitz saves Al Karama in AFC Champions League
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Last year's AFC Champions League finalists Al Karama of Syria scored four goals in the second half to claim a 4-2 victory against Al Najaf of Iraq in Group C at Sabah Al Salem Stadium on Wednesday.

Al Najaf took the lead after just eight minutes through Said Ali but an equaliser just one minute after the restart from Jehad Al Hussein opened the floodgates for the Syrians.

Fahd Aodi put Al Karama in front in the 53rd minute before Al Hussein scored his second and Senghor Koupouleni put the result beyond doubt in the 65th minute.

Karrar Muhamed claimed a consolation for Najaf three minutes from time from the penalty spot.

The result revived Al Karama's chances of qualifying from the group as they moved up to second place with seven points, just two points behind group leaders Neftchi while Al Najaf have to win their remaining matches to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

Al Najaf stunned Al Karama by taking an early lead after only eight minutes when Muhamed made his way inside the penalty area before he was fouled by Al Karama goalkeeper Adnan Al Hafez and Saeed Ali converted from the spot to give his side the lead.

The Iraqis maintained their dominance as Al Karama struggled in the opening stages and it was not until the latter part of the half that Mohammed Kwid's side started to impose themselves on the game.

Al Karama had to wait until the 36th minute for their first chance when Aodi struck a powerful free kick, but his shot went into the side netting.

The Syrians started the second half in impressive fashion and within a minute of the restart they were level Al Hussien drove the ball into the area and his shot was deflected into his own net by Al Najaf defender Ayad Saleh.

Seven minutes later Al Karama took the lead when Aodi unleashed a long-range pile driver that seared past Al Najaf goalkeeper Hadi Jaber.

Jaber then made a lethal mistake one minute later when he clumsily dropped an easy cross from Al Hussien and the ball crossed the line to put Al Karama further in front.

Al Karama continued to push forward and in the 65th minute they made it 4-1 when Aatef Jenniat broke down the left flank before sending a cross into the area which Senegalese striker Koupouleni steered past Al Najaf's substitute goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulzahra.

Al Najaf tried to salvage some pride in the remaining minutes and they pulled a goal back in the 85th minute when Al Karama goalkeeper Al Hafez fouled Ali Amran, earning himself a red card and handing Najaf a penalty.

Muhamed stepped up to score past substitute goalkeeper Mosab Balhous but it was not enough to deny the Syrians all three points.

Source: Xinhua


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