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Champions Al-Ittihad Finish Unbeaten and With Record Number of Points.

Byline: The Tripoli Post

Summary: Al-Ittihad won their fourth Libyan football championship in a row, their sixth in the last seven years, and the 14th in the clubAAEs history (and not as inadvertently stated in the last issue) as the 2007-08 campaign was wrapped up Tuesday with their 6-0 victory over relegated Ngom Egdabya. However, Ittihad had already made certain of their success a week ago by beating Al-Sukour 4-0 in their penultimate match.

Al-Ittihad won their fourth Libyan football championship in a row, their sixth in the last seven years, and the 14th in the clubAAEs history (and not as inadvertently stated in the last issue) as the 2007-08 campaign was wrapped up Tuesday with their 6-0 victory over relegated Ngom Egdabya. However, Ittihad had already made certain of their success a week ago by beating Al-Sukour 4-0 in their penultimate match.

So Al-IttihadAAEs current success story continues. They not only garnered their 14th title since 1964, but also set up two more records, by totalling the greatest number of points ever, 82, and also finishing the season unbeaten from 30 matches, a feat that could also have been achieved by their Tripoli rivals Al-Ahli, but lacked the staying power. Al-Ahli lost their only match on the last day against Al-Tahaddi., who thus avoided relegation.

In the process, Al-Ittihad only dropped four points in drawn matches throughout the championship, that has taken 10 months to complete. In the end their supporters celebrated another most satisfying season by finishing seven points ahead of second-placed Al-Ahli.

However, compared to last season, Al-Ittihad lacked the same consistency in the CAF Champions League when they managed a semi-final berth, but their fans must have forgotten all about that as they applauded the players all the way towards their win in the final match against relegated Ngom Egdabya.

It also says a lot for this team - the 31st time the championship has been won by a team from Tripoli - that has only been defeated eight times in the league in the last five seasons.

Strangely enough, as happened last season, Coach Branko SmiljanicAAEs team seemed to lose concentration midway through the campaign and at one time the odds weighed heavily in favour of Al-Ahli. But the latter were then dealt a severe blow when Al-Ittihad won the replayed game (they had lost way back in March) against Alakhdar.

Al-Ahli then also lost two important points in a drawn game against their namesakes from Benghazi and went into the last day against Tahaddi demoralised.

On the last day Tuesday, Al-Ittihad supporters painted Tripoli red as their heroes put the last nail in Ngom EgdabyaAAEs coffin at the bottom of the standings by winning 6-0 with four goals by Mohamed Zubya, and one each from Ahmed Alzowi and Reyad Ellafi.

On the other hand the day proved another disappointment for Al-Ahli fans who witnessed a dispirited performance from their players that led to their sideAAEs only defeat in the campaign 1-0 at Al-Tahaddi who netted the goal that kept in the Premier division nine minutes from the end.

The other most significant results were Al-OurobaAAEs 2-1 win over Al-Nasser, that however failed to save them from the drop, and Al-WehdaAAEs 6-1 thrashing of Al-Sukour, during which Haitem Altarki got a hat-trick.

Full results on the final day

Al-Madina v Al-Olomby 0-1

Al-Ahli (Benghazi) v Al-Jazeer 1-1

Khaleej Sirt v Al-Shat 0-1

Alakhdar v Al-Tirsana 2-0

Al-Tahaddi v Al-Ahli (Tripoli) 1-0

Al-Ouroba v Al-Nasser 2-1

Al-Ittihad v Ngom Egdabya 6-0

Al-Wehda v Al-Suqoor 6-1

This is Al-IttihadAAEs 64th year since their foundation on July 29, 1944 after a merger between Al Nahda & Al Shabab. They have now also increased the lead of championship victories over Al-Ahli by four, Al-Ahli (Tripoli) having won 10 tiles, the last one eight years ago.

Al-Ouroba, Al-Sukour and Ngom Egdabya get relegated to be replaced by second division, champions Al-Hilal, Ittihad Al-Shurta and Al-Swaihili.

A[umlaut] 2008 - The Tripoli Post

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Publication:The Tripoli Post (Tripoli, Libya)
Date:Jul 6, 2008
Words:666
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