2008 AFC Cup Champions: Al-Muharraq SC

2008 AFC Cup Champions: Al-Muharraq SC

Al-Muharraq is a Bahrain club with a rich history in football, founded in 1929, have won couple of trophies like Bahrain Premier League, Bahrain Kings cup, Bahrain FA cup and from all this, Bahrain Premier League and Bahrain Kings cup are two tournament which they won for a record 34 and 32 times respectively. Even after dominating Bahrain’s domestic tournaments and defeating every possible club of Bahrain origin but still it felt, that the club was missing something in their trophy cabinet and that was an International trophy.

Brilliant Year of 2009:
The question was finally answered in 2008 because 2008, proved to be a fantastic year for the club as Al-Muharraq won five out of four tournaments:
And their only low point that year was the Gulf Champions Cup, where they failed to progress to semis after finishing third in the group.

After wining four out five tournaments in one season, it was certain that in upcoming continental cup, Al-Muharraq were one of the prime contender of 2008 Asian Football Confederation Cup. Al-Muharraq was qualified to participate in AFC Cup by winning 2006-07 Bahrain Premier League in previous year.

AFC Cup 2008:

AFC Cup - Trophy 
(Photo Credit: Asian Football Confederation).

Group Stage:
Al-Muharraq was placed in four team, group B and in it they won three, drew two and lost one to finish first in group B and their only loss came against Indian club Dempo (2-1).

Quarterfinals:
In quarterfinals, Al-Muharraq faced Malaysian club Kedah and dominated first leg with a clean sheet 5-0, and with a five-goal advantage, Al-Muharraq won second leg 2-1, total aggregate 7-1.

Semi-Finals:
Oman club, Al Nanda shocked Al-Muharraq by winning the first leg of AFC semi-final, 1-0 and for the first Al-Muharraq were behind.
Bahrain’s club won the second leg 2-1 and total aggregate was tied at 2-2 but Al-Muharraq was lucky enough to progress on away goals in AFC Cup semi-final.

Final:
It was an all Arab final as Lebanon club Safa faced off Bahrain’s Al-Muharraq.
Leg 1 was hosted by Al-Muharraq in east Riffa’s Bahrain National Stadium and strong home support led them to a 5-1 win.
The return leg was in Lebanon’s capital Beirut and this one went even further. In a rollercoaster tie, the sides shared nine goals as Al Muharraq eventually edged it 5-4 on the night of final and 10-5 on aggregate to take the AFC Cup back to Bahrain, thanks to Rico’s hattrick in leg 2.

Al Muharraq winning Top Scorer and Player of the Tournament award:
A fantastic camping led to wining both awards (Top Scorer and Player of the Tournament award) for AL Muharraq.

Rico:

(Photo Credit: Globe Esporte)

Leandson Dias da Silva (Rico) won the top scorer award for scoring a staggering amount of 19 goals in the tournament and Mahmood Abdulrahman won the Player of the tournament.


AFC Cup Champions - Al Muharraq
(Photo Credit: Asian Football Confederation).

On 7th November, 2008 Al Muharraq finally won the AFC cup for Bahrain after failing in first two attempts (2006, 2007) and became the first Bahrain club to win a continental trophy and the celebration were started throughout the country and of course in the city of Muharraq were the club is from.
[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: BESTHQWALLPAPERS]


By Dhruv Trivedi

April 16, 2020 in Football

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