Najaf and its host Karbala draw to a scoreless tie in twelfth-round play of the Iraqi Soccer Premier League’s third group.
Neither of the two sides was able to play a match that lived up to the expected level, as nerves and arguments rattled the players, limiting their performance on the field and making them play in a disorganized fashion throughout the game.
It is known that games between Najaf and Karbala are always full of strength and nerves, as the match is considered the “derby” of southern Iraq. There is fierce competition between these two Iraqi teams and fans, on either side, are not going to settle for a loss.
The difference in the standings between leader Karbala and its followers played a role in the two teams’ desire to put on a strong performance, especially the home team, who had already been assured of group leadership and of a playoff spot with four games left.
With this result, the first-place team reaches 28 points, leading its pursuers Al-Mina’ and Najaf by seven points.
In the same group, Al-Shatra beat Al-Kufa 1-0. Their goal was scored by Mui’d Tamaah in the 18th minute.
Al-Mina’ defeated Maysan (2-1), with the victor’s goals coming from Nayef Salal (33rd minute) and Ihsan Hadi (35th minute), while Haydar Ibrahim scored the losing team’s only goal (41st minute).
Naft Al-Junoub defeated Al-Furat 2-0, with goals from Ahmed Ali (36th minute) and Saad Ghanem (86th minute).
South teams standings:
1. Karbala 28 points
It is worth noting that the first three teams will qualify for the playoffs, while the fourth-place team will qualify if they win the elimination game with the fourth-place team from the North Group.