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Al-Ittihad tightened its grip on the lead and took another step towards its first title since the 2008-2009 season, by defeating its guest Al-Hazm 3-0 yesterday, Friday, in the 25th stage of the Saudi Football League.
With its nineteenth victory for the season, Al-Ittihad raised its score to 60 points in the lead, 11 points ahead of Al-Hilal, the champion of the past two seasons, who was the only runner-up and had two postponed matches by beating Al-Ahly 4-2.
Al-Ittihad waited until the second half to score its hat-trick through Muhannad Al-Shanqiti (66) and Moroccan Abdel Razzaq Hamdallah (86, 90 +5), placing matters on Al-Hazm, which suffered its 17th defeat at the bottom of the standings with 14 points.
Al-Ittihad presented a modest first half and did not pose a real danger to its guest’s goal, which almost surprised the owner of the land with a goal, had it not been for the ingenuity of Brazilian goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe, who saved Naoufal Zerhouni’s ball and turned it with difficulty into a corner (14).
Al-Ittihad had a chance, but the cross ball was pushed away by Ibrahim Zayed from the danger zone (24) and Al-Hazm missed a real goal when Nigerian Ezequiel Hente scored the goal and tried to play the ball, “Loeb”, while the goalkeeper was out, but it was far from the goal (26).
Henty continued to waste opportunities when he received a cross ball that he played “on the fly” next to the post (45). In added time, a chance was created for Al-Ittihad, but the header of the Brazilian Romarinho da Silva crossed the crossbar a little.
With the start of the second half, Grohe saved his goal from an accomplished goal when he brilliantly saved Nofal Zerhouni (47).
Al-Ittihad was close to scoring, had it not been for the ingenuity of Ibrahim Zayed, who countered Hamdan Al-Shamrani’s header and ended its danger (54).
Romanian Federation coach Cosman Contra made offensive changes with the entry of Moroccan Abdel Razzaq Hamdallah and Brazilian Igor Cornado in search of the goal of progress, and he had what he wanted when Muhannad Al Shanqiti received a ball inside the penalty area and sent it strong to the right of Ibrahim Zayed (66).
Al-Hazm missed the opportunity to equalize the score when Nahle Al-Zerhouni scored the goal and played the ball next to the post (76), then from a coordinated attack, Al-Ittihad strengthened its lead with a second goal when Abdulaziz Al-Bishi played a cross to find Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah, who shot it directly to the left of Ibrahim Zayed (86).
In added time, Al-Ittihad widened the difference through Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah, who received a cross ball that he played with a scissor inside the goal.
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