Ahli Al-Khalil from the West Bank capped two weeks of sporting frenzy when they won the Palestine Cup by beating Gaza opponents Shejaia 2-1 on Friday to earn a place in Asian club competition.
Ahli Al-Khalil, the top team in the West Bank, and Gaza Strip champions Shejaia met in the first clash between teams from the two territories since 2000.
Ahmad Maher scored the winner in the first minute of injury time to secure the Hebron side’s place in the next Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup. The first leg in Gaza earlier this month ended in a goalless draw.
While Ahli Al-Khalil’s small stadium was overflowing with fans, hundreds of thousands watched on television and bustling Gaza fell quiet as Shejaia supporters willed their team on from afar in cafes and restaurants.
© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2019. All rights reserved.