VINICIUS Vargas scored a late goal to enable Riffa to force a 1-1 draw against Iraqi club Al Zawraa SC in their second 2023-24 AFC Cup Group C match at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium last night.
The Brazilian midfielder, who left Al Ahli to join Riffa at the start of this season, sent the ball soaring into the Al Zawraa goal with a brilliant left-footed kick from outside the box in the 77th minute to deny the Iraqi club their first win in the tournament after they went down 2-1 to Kuwait’s Al Arabi SC two weeks ago.
Al Zawraa had taken the lead in just the fifth minute of the game, thanks to defender Maytham Jabbar sending the ball into the left corner of the goal from the right side of the box.
Riffa, who began the 2023-24 season with a 2-0 win over Lebanon’s Najmeh SC at the same venue two weeks ago, now head the four-team table with four points, ahead of Al Arabi, who also have four points but are in second place because of goal difference.
The Bahraini club will now travel to Kuwait in three weeks’ time to take on Al Arabi on October 23 while Al Zawraa will host Najmeh in Basra on the same day.