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Bahrain Club relegated

BAHRAIN Club were last night relegated to the second division despite battling back for a 4-4 draw with Al Hala in their do-or-die Bahrain Premier League match at the Muharraq Club Stadium in Arad.

Bahrain Club headed into the contest in last place on the league standings and needed a win to at least qualify for the relegation play-offs.

But with the stalemate, they remained two points adrift from their closest challengers and will now drop to the lower level.

Al Hala will stay on in the top division, along with Al Shabab who were also playing last night to stay in the top flight.

Shabab drew 3-3 with Al Malkiya in at the Shaikh Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town. Both teams were also in danger of automatic relegation, should either of them have lost and Bahrain Club won.

Malkiya are still in danger of a drop, however. They now have to play in the relegation play-offs, where they will take on second division runners-up East Riffa over two legs.

The first match will be played on June 3 followed by the second game on June 7.

In Bahrain Club's draw with Hala last night, Bahrain Club battled hard to salvage their season and did well to fight back from a two-goal deficit, but it was not enough in the end.

Faisal Al Sadoon opened the scoring for Hala in the 25th minute but then Brazilian striker Maxiliano leveled things for Bahrain Club in the 39th.

Jassim Ayyash put Hala back in front on the stroke of half-time, and the goal was enough to give them the slim one-goal advantage heading into the break.

A minute after re-start, the game was deadlocked once more as Abdulla Janahi scored the first of his two goals.

Al Sadoon was on target again to make it 3-2 for Hala and then Nigerian teammate John Jumbo put them two goals ahead with just 12 minutes to play.

With their Premier League lives on the line, Bahrain Club fought back valiantly and Janahi made it 3-4 in the 80th minute. Mohammed Al Rumaihi then secured their comeback with a goal just two minutes later, pegging the 4-4 final score.

In Shabab's draw with Malkiya, Mahmood Mansoor put Shabab in front with a header in the 32nd minute. Nigerian Ikle Odongo levelled the proceedings at the stroke of half-time. Mansoor put Shabab back in front with a penalty four minutes into the second half, and then teammate Ahmed Jaffar gave them a 3-1 lead after finding the net a minute after the hour-mark.

Malkiya pressed hard to stay in the contest and were rewarded with two late goals to save their season. Mahdi Jawad was on target in the 74th minute to get to within a goal, and then Odongo fired in the crucial equaliser five minutes from the full time whistle.

League action continues tonight with just one match on the cards. Joint-league leaders Busaiteen, who are looking to claim their first title this season, take on Al Hidd at 3pm as they look to move ahead of idle Muharraq, who are the other remaining title-contenders this season.

Tomorrow, Manama take on Al Najma and then on Monday Muharraq take on defending champions Riffa on a day that the title could be decided.



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