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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Al-Ittihad win second straight Libyan Premier League title with playoff victory over Al Ahli

For the second consecutive season it was an all-Tripoli affair in the Libyan Premier League title race and once again Al-Ittihad triumphed over Al Ahli in a one-off final match to determine the champion. Ittihad defeated their rivals 2-1 on Saturday in a playoff match that was necessary after both teams ended the championship stage of the competition tied on points, goal difference and goals scored. Two goals in the first half gave Ittihad a lead that was too much for Ahli to come back from, resulting in their record eighteenth Libyan Premier League title.

It only took a little under two minutes for Ittihad to stun their opponents with the opening goal and it was Moaz Issa who put his side up. Issa collected a lofted ball on the left wing and cut inside before striking an effort that went through Ahli goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnoush’s hands and in for a dream start. Rabia Al Shadi made it a two-goal lead before the half hour mark after an excellent team attack saw Al Shadi finish a cross from close range.

Mohamed Bouzreq cut the deficit in half for Ahli in the 68th minute but the 2021-22 CAF Confederation Cup semifinalists could not level despite a final attacking charge in the last twenty minutes. A short corner kick led to a header in the final seconds of stoppage time but Ittihad goalkeeper Muad Allafi held on without conceding a rebound and soon after the full time whistle sounded for Ittihad to celebrate.

Highlights are below following a match report from the Libya Observer.