Kuwait Club and Al-Arabi emerge as front-runners

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Kuwait Club’s Muhammad Dahham vies for the ball with the Al-Nasr player.

KUWAIT CITY, May 13: The dynamics of the race for the Zain Premier League title came into focus following the conclusion of the seventh round of championship group matches. Kuwait Club, with 60 points, and Al-Arabi, with 57 points, emerged as the primary contenders after Al-Qadisiya was eliminated, finishing at 50 points following its defeat against Al-Fahaheel 0-2. This outcome crystallized just before the end of the previous round.

With only three rounds remaining, the countdown to the title intensifies. Despite Kuwait Club holding a three-point advantage over Al-Arabi, the defending champion faces a challenging path ahead, confronting Al-Salmiya, Al-Qadisiya, and ultimately Al-Arabi, while its rival contends with Al-Fahaheel, currently leading the table.

In the last round, Kuwait Club secured a relatively straightforward victory against Al-Nasr, who was disadvantaged by injuries and suspensions, maintaining its lead over Al-Arabi. Notably, Mohamed Dahham netted two goals against his former team.

Meanwhile, Al-Arabi faced a tough battle, managing to overcome Al-Salmiya with a solitary goal despite playing with ten men for a significant portion of the match after Hamad Al-Qallaf received a red card. Its perseverance paid off in achieving its objective.

Ante Misha, coach of Al-Salmiya, opted to rest key players in anticipation of the upcoming Amir Cup final against Al-Qadisiya, mirroring Mohammed Al-Mashaan’s strategy with Al-Qadisiya, who also prioritized the cup final over league matches. Al-Mashaan faced criticism for this decision despite Al-Qadisiya having a chance to contend for the title, but the focus remained on securing cup success and avoiding player injuries.

Despite the setback, Al-Qadisiya’s board member Muhammad Marafi affirmed confidence in the coaching staff, announcing Al-Mashaan’s continuation with the team into the next season. Marafi emphasized the importance of rational decision-making and expressed regret to the fans for falling short in the league title race, while expressing hope for future success, particularly in securing the Amir Cup.

Hassan Musa

Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

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