An action shot from the Barcelona-Kazma game in Kuwait Monday. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Kazma hold Barca to 1-1 draw Catalan giants pleased with first visit to Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21: The Kazma Club of Kuwait held the much-fancied FC Barcelona to 1-1 draw Monday evening at the Al-Sadaka Al-Salama Stadium in Kuwait.
The Catalan giants drew first blood through Bojan Krkic in the 80th minute and Abdulla Dufairi scored the equalizer for Kazma in the first minute of injury time.
There were a few missed opportunities and both teams came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, particularly in the second half.
The Catalans played without their regular stars and local fans missed an opportunity to see Messi, Xavi, Alves and also Iniesta and Keita — the latter two due to injury and coach Guardiola had to call in reinforcements from Barca Atletic — Bartra, Fontas, Oriol Romeu, Thiago and Victor Vazquez.
Messi, Xavi, Alves missed the game due to clash of dates with the selection of Fifa Player of the World.


Though it was only a friendly, the Kuwaiti fans treated the match as the biggest match of the year.
The arrival of the World Club Champions resonated across the city and everyone talked about the match. But as the Kuwaitis had made it clear in their press conference, they were looking forward to beat the best team in the world.
Much of the play was confined to midfield and from the word go it was evident both teams made a cautious approach.
Every time any team made inroads into the other’s territory, there was huge applause from the crowd.
The match was held to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Kazma Club.
At the end of the game the Chairman of the Kazma Club Saad Al-Banwan congratulated the fans for equally supporting both the teams.


KUNA adds:
President of FC Barcelona Joan Laporta said earlier his club was happy to play the first friendly match in Kuwait after winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Some 5,000 fans warmly welcomed Barcelona when they landed at Kuwait International Airport ahead of the game against Kazma.
Laporta praised as excellent the sporting ties between his club and the State of Kuwait, commending Kazma for inviting Barca to play the friendly match.
Barcelona won global praise after winning the FIFA Club World Cup against Estudiantes to complete a dream year that has seen the team winning six major trophies.
Laporta attributed the spectacular victories of the team this year to dexterity of the Barca squad led by Technical Secretary Txiki Begiristain, First Team Coach Josep Guardiola and Assistants Tito Vilanova and Juan Carlos Unzue.
This is an unprecedented phase in the history of the team since it was founded 110 years ago, he affirmed.


On his part Begiristain said he deals with each game separately, deeming himself a lucky coach.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Kazma Sporting Club Asaad Al-Banwan said the aim of playing a grand team such as Barca is to please the football-lovers Kuwaitis.
“The game provided a chance for the Kuwaiti fans to see the big stars closely,” he said.
“The match was a climax of the activities marking the 45th anniversary of Kazma,” Al-Banwan affirmed.
He thanked the organizing committee of the festival and the Kuwaiti fans who gave a warm welcome to the Barca.
“Backed by Kuwait Ambassador to Spain Adel Al-Ayar, Kazma started preparations for the game two years ago,” Al-Banwan disclosed, noting that Al-Ayar introduced him to Laporta.
Kazma chairman promised to pursue efforts to attract the world’s leading football team to play in Kuwait.
After the match against Kazma, Barca will have a rest until January 29 when the Spanish league will resume after winter recess.


By: Paul Francis X. Fernandes

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