Al Ahed Advances to AFC Cup Final, Beats Al Kahrabaa on Penalties

In a tense AFC Cup 2023/24 West Zonal semi-final, Al Ahed triumphed over Al Kahrabaa 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate draw. The victory, following Al Ahed’s 1-0 win in the second leg at Basra International Stadium, propels the 2019 AFC Cup champions into the West Zonal final against Al Nahda in April.

Al Ahed, having lost the first leg 1-0 in Muscat, missed an early chance to level when Waleed Shour’s header went off target. Despite Al Kahrabaa’s nerves showing with some risky plays, Al Ahed couldn’t capitalize in the first half.

The hosts came out stronger in the second half, but missed opportunities from Abdulameer and Tamim kept the score level. Al Ahed finally broke the deadlock with Erwin’s header from an attacking free-kick in the final minutes, forcing the game into extra time.

A goalless extra time led to a penalty shootout. Al Ahed’s Darwiche missed the first penalty, but Al Kahrabaa failed to capitalize as Abdulameer blazed his effort over. The next three penalties were converted before Al Kahrabaa’s Khalil had his spot-kick saved by Matar. Al Midani secured the win for Al Ahed, converting the decisive penalty for a 4-2 victory.

This intense clash showcased missed opportunities, goalkeeping prowess, and the drama of a penalty shootout, ultimately seeing Al Ahed advance to the West Zonal final in their quest for AFC Cup glory.

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