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9th Arab Cup: Libya, Morocco Fight for First Title in Friday's Final; Saudi's a Disappointing Fourth.

While Libya and Morocco prepare for the final of the 9th Arab Nations Cup Friday, and with both seeking to win the title for the first time, hosts Saudi Arabia had to endure the disappointment of only finishing fourth in the tournament having lost 1-0 to Iraq in the match for third/fourth place.

Already down-hearted after semi-final loss against Libya in midweek, the crowd at the Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium on Thursday did not appear too enthusiastic and failed to spur their team to any great heights. Their morale was dealt an early blow when Iraq scored the goal that eventually decided the match after 16 minutes through Abdul-Zahra.

Now all is set for Friday's big match with Libya starting favourites after the midweek news that their performances of late managed to catapult them to 39th position in this month's FIFA Ranking list. Their opponents, Morocco are placed 62nd.

This will be the two sides' second meeting in the final stages of the competition. They were drawn in the same group initially, and when they met in their Group B game, they shared the spoils in a scoreless draw.

Libya are going through their best time ever on the international scene. They are still unbeaten in competitions since before the February 17, 2011 Revolution and they seem to be flourishing without the involvement of the Gaddafi family members in the game.

Once again, Libya will bank much of their hopes on the experienced players, and particularly Ahmed Sa'ad who seems to have found his top form in this competition, having already scored three of Libya's goals.

Morocco have been having a good time too in Saudi Arabia and their semi-final victory over Iraq must have given them a great boost. As such, it all points towards an interesting and balanced final.

2012 - The Tripoli Post

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Publication:The Tripoli Post (Tripoli, Libya)
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jul 6, 2012
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