Muharraq will contest their third AFC Cup final, after comfortably beating Kuwait SC 2-0 in the 2021 AFC Cup West Zonal Final last night to reach the competition’s decider on November 5.
Muharraq will face FC Nasaf of Uzbekistan – who defeated Hong Kong’s Lee Man earlier yesterday – in the final.
The first 15 minutes of play saw both teams battle for possession, attempting to find some rhythm with two chances going Muharraq’s way courtesy of Flavio Carioca, who missed an opening minute tight-angle volley that was skied and later on missed a header from close range.
The Bahraini side opened the scoring in the 20th minute, when summer signing Mahmoud Al Mardi curled in a beautiful free-kick from far out on the left, which took a deceiving bounce just in front of keeper Hameed Al Qallaf on its way into the net.
Kuwait SC’s Nasser Al Salman put the ball in the back of the net for his side just after the half-hour mark, but the goal did not stand with the striker having committed a foul on the way to scoring, and El Mehdi Berrahma got a shot on target not long after; a low drive from the edge of the area that the keeper caught comfortably.
Carioca eventually got Muharraq’s second of the night right before the break, after Mohamed Al Banna’s cross from the flank resulted in a scramble inside the six-yard-box that ended with the Brazilian’s shot taking a cruel deflection off Abdulmohsen Al Turkomani’s foot, looping over Al Qallaf and into the net to double the score.
Half-time substitute Ahmad Zanki missed a great chance after an hour, when he attempted to curl the ball from far out into the net following a corner kick but his shot skipped past the far post for a goal kick.
Carioca almost got his second of the night, and his side’s third when he latched onto a through ball and took a tame, low shot that beat the keeper, yet was slow enough for Fahad Al Hajeri to make his way back and stop it from counting.