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Ahli clinches Asian Handball Trophy
By Abdullah Al-Hariri Saudi Gazette
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 02 - 2009

Ahli lifted the 11th Asian Clubs Handball Championship Trophy after beating Al-Noor 26-23 in an all-Saudi final at the Indoor Hall of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare(GPYW) here Wednesday.
The title is the first for Al-Ahli and for Saudi Arabia since the national handball federation was formed in 1975.
In addition to the title, the Asian champion Al-Ahli also secured a seat in Super Globe Championship where the best teams from the continents compete in a round-robin tournament.
The last Super Globe Championship was held in 2007 in Egypt. Spain's Ciudad Real won the trophy over host Al-Ahly.
The Saudi victory here also broke the Qatari and Kuwaiti teams domination on the title.
Salman Al-Sudairi, head of the Saudi Handball Federation, handed over the cup to Al-Ahli team on behalf of Prince Sultan Bin Fahd, President of GPYW.
Prince Sultan congratulated Al-Ahli players and the club's president in a phone call after the match and he promised full support to host the next Super Globe Championship in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Noor took the silver medals while the five-time winner Al-Sadd of Qatar won the bronze medals as it finished third after beating Al-Fehaheel of Kuwait 29-25 earlier at the same venue.
Al-Sadd goalkeeper Badi Al-Johar was selected as the best player of the championship.
The two Saudi finalists have cruised to the final after recording deserving victories during their 14-day campaign.
Host Ahli Jeddah and Al-Noor had a warm start in the final but Al-Ahli stormed into lead in the first half (13-10), thanks to efforts of its Egyptian player Mohammed Abu Risha and Ahmed Al-Ahmar.
After the break, Al-Noor applied pressure on Al-Ahli's Egyptian players but the team failed to reduce the three-goal margin.
Ahmed Yanbawi and Bandr Al-Harbi combined a powerful defense in the remaining minutes of the game.
Al-Ahli goalkeeper Manaf Saeed also contributed in Al-Ahli's victory as he made several crucial saves on many occasions.
Fifteen of the continent's best clubs participated in this championship. The teams have been drawn into four groups of four teams each with three teams in Group A. __

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