An­sar look to build on derby de­mo­li­tion

Close com­pe­ti­tion com­bines with ex­cit­ing new sign­ings for league lead­ers

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - SPORTS -

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.

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