Riffa hammered Lebanon’s Nejmeh Club 6-1 last night in their fifth Group C game of the 2023-24 AFC Cup at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium to continue their unbeaten run and book a spot in the West Zone semi-finals with a game still in hand.
The Bahraini club now lead the four-team table with 13 points from four wins and a draw while Nejmeh, who suffered their fourth loss, have only a solitary point from one drawn game.
Captain Komail Al Aswad put the hosts ahead, 1-0, in the 35th minute with a header off a looping cross from Hazza Ali that sent the ball skidding past a wrong-footed Nejmeh goalkeeper Ali Al Sabaa.
The Lebanese team managed to hold Riffa at bay for the rest of the first half before the floodgates opened for the hosts early in the second half.
Al Aswad was in action again in the 51st minute when he dodged his marker just outside the box and sent a pass to Majdi Attar whose powerful strike sent the ball whizzing past Al Sabaa to make it 2-0.
Barely a minute later, that became 3-0 as Sayed Hashim Isa pounced on a poor back pass by Nejmeh’s Abdullah Moghrabi and sent the ball into the back of the net.
Twelve minutes later, Riffa’s Brazilian striker Joel Vinicius, who had just come on in the 60th minute, scored off a pass by namesake and fellow Brazilian Vinicius Vargas with the scoreboard now showing the hosts leading 4-0.
In the 72nd minute, that became 5-0 when Isa scored his second goal of the night.
Nejmeh’s Hassan Kourani managed to finally score for the visitors just a minute later but, in the 83rd minute, Riffa scored their sixth goal of the night when Vargas sent the ball rocketing past Al Sabaa with a powerful left-footed kick.
Riffa will play their next match against Iraq’s Al Zawra’a Club on December 12 in Basra.
Al Zawra’a, who battled to a 1-1 draw against Kuwait’s Al Arabi Club in Kuwait last night, are in second place in the table with eight points while the Kuwaiti club are third with five.