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Abdel-Shafy features in Al Ahli 5-3 loss to Barcelona


Photo: Al Ahli

Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli lost 5-3 to Spanish giants Barcelona in an exciting friendly in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday.

Barcelona had a full house highlighted by the inclusion of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar who was making a return to action after recovering from an injury.

Al Ahli coach Christian Gross included Egyptian defender Mohamed Abdel-Shafy in the stating line up.

To the dismay of the fans, Asian player of the year and Al Ain playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, who has been given special permission by Al Ain to play for Al Ahli in the historic friendly, was left on the bench. He then came on as a substitute in the 33rd minute.

The most dominant trio – Neymar, Messi and Suarez stole the limelight as they netted three goals within 20 minutes of the opening half.

It was usual business as Messi and Suarez combined, the latter struck to put Barcelona ahead in the 8th minute. Two minutes later, the duo linked up again but this time it was the reciprocal, as the Argentine scored from an assist by the former.

Rafinha cut a cross from the left flank as Neymar scored the third goal in the 17th minute before being replaced at the half-hour mark.

Firs half substitute Omar Abdulrahman reduced Barcelona’s lead in the second half from the spot when Barcelona goalkeeper Jordi Masip gave away the penalty.

Francisco Alcacer headed in to restore Barelona’s three-goal lead in the 55th minute before Rafinha put his name on the score sheet three minutes later.

A late brace from Mohanad Asiri reduced the deficit for Al Ahli with 25 minute to go. The Saudi side however failed to complete the comeback as the game ended in a 5-3 win for Barcelona.

An African football Journalist based in Livingstone, Zambia.

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