Al-Seeb, a club from Oman, qualified for the West Zone Finals as the first team. After slashing to defeat Al-Arabi, a club from Kuwait in extra-time with a score of 2-1 after a tie in 90 minutes 0-0 in the AFC Cup 2022 West zone semi-final at Al-Kuwait Sports Stadium, Kuwait City.
Arabi had the first big chance of the game when Hussein Ali cut inside from the right flank, taking on two Al Seeb defenders and rounding another before intelligently cutting the ball back to Ali Khalaf, who sent in a rather tame shot that goalkeeper Ali Al Rawahi comfortably held.
At the other end of the pitch and closer to the break, Salah Al Yehyaei’s first game in the competition in Al Seeb colours almost got off to a rousing start when he lashed out from range with a powerful right footed shot, only to have Sulaiman Abdelghafoor parry it out.
Al Arabi had a flurry of chances towards the end of the first half, with each of Badr Abdelrahman, Sultan Al Enezi and Mohammed Soulah all taking their chances but Al Rawahi was up to the task against the first two, while the latter marginally missed.
Midway through the second period of play, the score was opened albeit temporarily when Marwan Taiib headed in from point blank but was flagged offside, thanks to Al Arabi’s organised back line catching him out.
The two sides laboured through the rest of the 90 minutes with both defences holding firm and fatigue catching up with both sets of players.
Muhsen Al Ghassani opened the scoring five minutes into extra time in extraordinary fashion, when Jumaa Al Zlit stuttered in possession at the back prompting the Omani forward to press him, nicking the ball off him and nutmegging the keeper as the ball rolled into the net.
The second goal came just two minutes later, when a brilliant piece of forward break saw Ghassani and Al Yahyaei play long diagonal balls to each other with the final one seeing Al Yahaei have a clear shot at goal which the keeper could not stop.
Kingsley Eduwo pulled one back for Al Arabi in the 115th minute, thanks to the keeper’s long ball down the flank which was met by Abdulrahman Karam, who in turn played the ball to the Nigerian’s foot with Eduwo making no mistake, side-footing the shot home. His goal, however, proved to be merely consolation as the Omani side advanced to October’s West Zone Final.
Credit Photo : AFC