Ansar look to build on derby demolition
Close competition combines with exciting new signings for league leaders
League leaders Ansar will look to build on their 5-1 demolition of archrivals Nejmeh when they host Akhaa Ahli Aley Saturday in matchday four of the Lebanese Premier League.
With many expecting a two-way tussle between Nejmeh and defending champions Ahed for the title, Ansar’s chastening derby win added a layer of intrigue to the new season.
After creating headlines upon his arrival to Nejmeh following a fouryear exile in the gulf, Hasan Maatouk had the spotlight taken from his grasp by Ansar’s new signing El-Hadji Tall.
The close-season arrival from Jordanian side Al-Ahli netted four times against Nejmeh, taking his tally for the campaign to six goals from only three matches.
The Senegalese forward, like his new club, has proved a revelation so far, and the 22-year-old will look to continue his rich goalscoring form against Aley who have collected only two so far this season.
Despite the embarrassment of the derby, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom for new look Nejmeh.
They impressed in their opening game against Ahed and were patently better than their capital foes who rode their luck before escaping with a 2-2 draw.
A 1-0 win at Aley followed and the seven-time champions will aim for a similar result when they travel to promoted Al-Islah Saturday.
It has been an abject start for Ahed manager Moussa Hojeij who took charge of the holders over the summer. Ahed’s title defense up until now has garnered only three points from as many matches, with the five-time champions struggling regain their mojo from last year.
They face a potential bananaskin trip to Salam Zgharta Sunday, with Hojeij coming under increasing pressure following three successive draws.
Finally, Tadamon Sour recorded a crucial win Friday, defeating new boys Al-Shabab al-Arabi 1-0 Friday to climb out of the relegation places.
Substitute Mahmoud Sablini was the hero for the visitors, turning in Mohammad Atwi’s 69th minute cross to move his side up to eighth in the standings.
Ansar players celebrate a goal against Racing.