Last week wasn’t too bad, was it? I think we all learned something new about West Asian football and no doubt it’ll be more of the same this week. Remember, we’ve only got Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Syria & UAE to keep us occupied as all the other leagues are either out of season or not being played due to war. Yemen, I’m looking at you.
Let’s not rest on our laurels worrying about leagues that aren’t in season, let’s get stuck right with the action.
Iraq Super League
Al-Zawraa could only manage to fire blanks against lowly Al-Bahri as they dropped two crucial points in their hunt to be crowned champions. Second-placed Al-Shorta couldn’t capitalise as the weather prevented them from making up ground on Al-Zawraa.
They were one-nil up away Al-Hudood before the game got abandoned due to the rain. Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya did manage to take advantage of their slip as they beat Al-Samawa comfortably at home. 2-0 was the scoreline there.
Writing Is On The Wall For Karbalaa
Bottom of the table Karbalaa did nothing to ease their relegation worries as they lost 5-1 at home to Al-Najaf. Al-Najaf still harbour hopes of making the top two, although one would think that the thirteen point gap might be too much for them to make up.
Latest results from Iraq:
Karbalaa (20th) 1-5 Al-Najaf (5th) | Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiya (14th) 0-1 Amanat Baghdad (10th) | Naft Al-Wasat (9th) 2-0 Zakho (19th) | Al-Kahrabaa (7th) 2-3 Al-Talaba (13th) | Naft Al-Junoob (6th) 1-0 Al-Hussein (16th) | Al-Hudood (11th) A-A Al-Shorta (3rd) (Match abandoned due to rain) | Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (2nd) 2-0 Al-Samawa (15th) | Naft Maysan (12th) 0-1 Al-Naft (4th) | Al-Zawraa (1st) 0-0 Al-Bahri (17th) | Al-Minaa (8th) 4-2 Al-Diwaniya (18th).
Jordan Premier League
It’s safe to say the return of the Jordan Premier League didn’t disappoint as it was home wins all round in the six games with the exception of Al-Jazeera’s 4-0 demolition job against Al-Yarmouk. That result means that Al-Jazeera still have a chance of catching Al-Faisaly in second, although, that’s easier said than done.
Al-Faisaly picked up an impressive 3-0 win over Al-Ahli to ensure that their title battle with Al-Wehdat goes on for another week. Yes, it will take Al-Wehdat to lose both of their games, Al-Faisaly to win both of theirs and for there to be a ten-goal swing, but who knows?
Does Anyone Want To Stay Up?
One thing seems sure in Jordan, no-one wants to stay up as the bottom three all lost at the weekend. In fact, it was that bad that the three of them lost on aggregate with a scoreline of 9-2. Not good.
The percentage has dropped from 58% to 41% in terms of teams that can drop out of the Premier League in Jordan which is rather mind-blowing when you consider there are only two games remaining.
It’s also worth noting that Jordanian teams are also doing well in the continental competitions, you can catch up on that here.
Latest results from Jordan:
That Ras (6th) 2-0 Al-Ramtha (4th) | Shabab Al-Ordon (5th) 4-2 Mansheyat Bani Hasan (11th) | Al-Hussein (9th) 1-0 Al-Baqa’a (10th) | Al-Wehdat (1st) 3-1 Shabab Al-Aqaba (8th) | Al-Yarmouk (12th) 0-4 Al-Jazeera (3rd) | Al-Faisaly (2nd) 3-0 Al-Ahli (7th).
Omantel Professional League (Oman)
Over in Oman, Al Suwaiq followed up their crucial win last week against Al Shabab with another three points against fourth-placed Al Nasr. It was made all the more important as second-placed Al Shabab could only manage a draw against third-placed Al Nahda.
What that means is Al Suwaiq now have an eleven point gap at the top of the table and considering there are only eight games left, it’s hard to see them chucking it away from here.
All To Play For In Oman
Dhofar and Sohar moved out of the automatic relegation places with vital wins against Fanja SC and Al Orouba respectively which left Oman Club at the foot of the table after their home defeat at the hands of Al Salam.
It’s still all to play for though as only six points separates the nine teams at the bottom of the table in Oman. Which way that’ll go is anyone’s guess, nonetheless, it will be incredibly interesting to watch.
Latest results from Oman:
Al Mudhaibi (10th) 0-0 Muscat (9th) | Oman Club (14th) 1-2 Al Salam (6th) | Saham (13th) 1-2 Mirbat (7th) | Al Nasr (4th) 1-2 Al Suwaiq (1st) | Fanja SC (8th) 0-1 Dhofar (11th) | Al Shabab (2nd) 1-1 Al Nahda (3rd) | Sohar (12th) 2-1 Al Orouba (5th).
Palestine West Bank League
While the Gaza Strip League in Palestine finished last week, we’ve got the final two matchdays of the West Bank League to look over. What a day! Even though there were two games left in Palestine, there was one thing and one thing only left to settle and that was the league title.
As mentioned last week, Hilal Al-Quds and Ahli Al-Khalil were separated by three points meaning that it could swing either way. An ideal scenario would’ve seen Hilal Al-Quds lose midweek against Shabab Al-Khalil which would’ve meant that going into the final matchday, they would have been level on points.
No Final Day Drama In Palestine
Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be as Hilal Al-Quds put Shabab Al-Khalil to the sword, beating them 3-1 at home. Ahli Al-Khalil did their bit to be fair to them as they wiped the floor with Duwwara. They scored four without reply. Tidy.
So, on the final day, Ahli Al-Khalil needed a massive favour off Shabab Al-Thahriyeh as they hosted Hilal Al-Quds. Of course, Ahli Al-Khalil had to win against Shabab Al-Bireh to stand any chance of overthrowing Hilal Al-Quds.
Unfortunately, Ahli Al-Khalil could only manage a 0-0 draw which meant that Hilal Al-Quds could lose 10-0 and it wouldn’t make a difference. For the record, they won 4-2 away from home. What a result.
Latest results from Palestine:
Matchday 21: Shabab Al-Thahriyeh (10th) 0-0 Jabal Mukabar (4th) | Shabab Al-Smoa (3rd) 2-1 Wadi Al-Neiss (7th) | Markaz Balatah (8th) 1-0 Shabab Al-Khadr (11th) | Thakafi Tulkarm (9th) 3-4 Shabab Al-Bireh (6th) | Ahli Al-Khalil (2nd) 4-0 Duwwara (12th) | Hilal Al-Quds (1st) 3-1 Shabab Al-Khalil (5th).
Matchday 22: Jabal Mukabar (4th) 4-4 Thakafi Tulkarm (9th) | Duwwara (12th) 1-4 Markaz Balatah (8th) | Shabab Al-Khadr (11th) 2-3 Shabab Al-Smoa (3rd) | Shabab Al-Thahriyeh (10th) 2-4 Hilal Al-Quds (1st) | Wadi Al-Neiss (7th) 4-0 Shabab Al-Khalil (5th) | Shabab Al-Bireh (6th) 0-0 Ahli Al-Khalil (2nd).
Syrian Premier League (Syria, obviously)
While we may have seen Al-Ittihad open a sight gap at the top of the Premier League in Syria last week, it’s all changed once again. Al-Jaish now sit top of the table after beating Al-Majd away from home and Al-Ittihad dropped two points away at Tishreen.
Just so you understand, even though Al-Ittihad have a better goal difference than Al-Jaish, they sit below them because Al-Jaish have a better head-to-head record.
There are three games left in Syria and it’s not just the top of the table where it’s all still to play for as one relegation place could still end up with any one of six clubs. Bottom of the table, Al-Jihad are already down. Good luck next year, lads.
Latest results from Syria:
Al-Muhafaza (13th) 1-1 Hutteen (10th) | Al-Herafyeen (12th) 1-1 Al-Karamah (8th) | Al-Taliya (5th) 0-1 Al-Nawair (6th) | Tishreen (4th) 0-0 Al-Ittihad (2nd) | Al-Shorta (7th) 0-3 Al-Wahda (3rd) | Al-Majd (11th) 0-2 Al-Jaish (1st).
Marcus Berg kept up his incredible goal-scoring run as he added another four to his tally which ensured he ended the season with the golden boot. The Al Ain forward was an integral part of the side that saw off Al Dhafra 5-0.
It meant that Al Ain finished the season with sixty-five goals from twenty-two games. Oh so close to that magic three a game.
Al Dhafra’s pasting at the hands of the UAE champions meant that if Emirates club got a win against Al Nasr, they would stay up. At half-time, Emirates Club were staying up as they had a 2-1 lead against Al Nasr, however, a 65th-minute goal meant that Emirates Club were relegated.
Seeing as they only mustered three shots on target throughout the most important game of the season, it’s safe to say the deserved it.
Latest results from UAE:
Hatta (12th) 1-0 Ajman (8th) | Sharjah (6th) 2-1 Dibba Al-Fujairah (9th) | Al Wahda (2nd) 4-1 Al Jazira (7th) | Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (5th) 0-1 Al Wasl (3rd) | Al Ain (1st) 5-0 Al Dhafra (10th) | Emirates Club (11th) 2-2 Al Nasr (4th).
There we go. Iraq is still in full flow as is Syria, Jordan & Oman. We say goodbye to UAE & Palestine for a few months as their respective seasons have come to an end. Either way, it’ll be much fun next week to look at what else is going on.
Until the next time.