Ivorian sensation Frank Kessie led Al-Ahli to victory in the Jeddah Derby against Al-Ittihad with a 1-0 score in the Saudi Pro League’s ninth round. Explore the key moments of the match as Al-Ahli secures the first derby win upon their return to the limelight.
Frank Kessie, Jeddah Derby, Al-Ahli, Saudi Pro League, Victory
On October 6, 2023, Ivorian midfielder Frank Kessie steered his team, Al-Ahli, to a decisive victory in the Jeddah Derby against Al-Ittihad, winning 1-0 at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah. This crucial match took place as part of the ninth round of fixtures in the Saudi Pro League.
The only goal of the match came from Al-Ahli’s Ivorian star, Frank Kessie, in the 31st minute. This victory marked Al-Ahli’s sixth win of the season and secured their first derby win upon their return to the Saudi Pro League, propelling them to the fifth position with 19 points. Al-Ittihad, on the other hand, suffered their second loss, remaining level with Al-Ahli on points but sitting in the fourth spot on the table.
Al-Ahli Jeddah entered the match with an offensive mindset right from the start, as Roberto Firmino attempted a header, narrowly missing the target of Al-Ittihad’s goal.
Continuing their dominance, Al-Ahli sought an early breakthrough. In the 9th minute, Riyad Mahrez showcased his skills, delivering a powerful left-footed strike that was parried by Al-Ittihad’s goalkeeper, Ghrouhi. Feras Al-Brikane followed up with a shot into the net, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside call.
Just three minutes later, Karim Benzema, the star of Al-Ittihad, received a pass from Abderrazak Hamdallah. He found himself one-on-one with Al-Ahli’s goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, and unleashed a powerful shot with his right foot. However, the Senegalese keeper displayed remarkable reflexes and saved the attempt with his right foot.
Al-Ahli broke the deadlock in the 31st minute. A cross from Mahrez on the right side was met with a precise header from Feras Al-Brikane. Ivorian midfielder Frank Kessie, displaying excellent aerial ability, met the ball with his left foot, sending it into the top-left corner of Ghrouhi’s net.
The 44th minute presented a dangerous opportunity for Al-Ittihad, as the Frenchman N’Golo Kanté embarked on a solo run from midfield into Al-Ahli’s penalty area. He struck a powerful right-footed shot, but it narrowly missed the right post.
In injury time, Al-Ittihad showcased significant danger as Abdelrazak Hamdallah attempted a close-range header that narrowly missed the target. Karim Benzema followed up with a shot that struck the left post of Mendy’s goal. The first half concluded with Al-Ahli leading 1-0.
Al-Ittihad’s coach, Nuno Santo, made two substitutions in the 46th minute, introducing Muhand Al-Shanqiti and Zakaria Hawsawi while replacing Medallah Al-Olayan and Ahmed Bamessoud. Fabinho unleashed a powerful shot from outside the penalty area, but it struck the crossbar of Al-Ahli’s goal.
In the 54th minute, Karim Benzema delivered a splendid pass to Romarinho inside the penalty area, who struck a powerful shot with his right foot. However, Mendy made a brilliant save.
Muhand Al-Shanqiti came close to equalizing the score, but his powerful shot went just wide of the right post.
Al-Ittihad capitalized on their dominance and attacking prowess, seemingly scoring an equalizer in the 71st minute through Karim Benzema. However, the goal was disallowed after a VAR review due to a foul by Al-Ittihad’s player Coronado before the goal.
A fantastic opportunity emerged for the Frenchman N’Golo Kanté to level the score. He received a pass and found himself one-on-one with Mendy in the 85th minute, but Mendy made an impressive save.
No further changes occurred in the scoreline in the remaining minutes, and the match concluded with Al-Ahli securing a 1-0 victory over Al-Ittihad in the Jeddah Derby.
Frank Kessie’s stellar performance proved to be the difference-maker in the Jeddah Derby, securing a significant win for Al-Ahli. This victory marked Al-Ahli’s first derby win since their return to the Saudi Pro League, setting them on a path of resurgence. The intense match showcased the skills and determination of both teams, leaving fans eagerly awaiting the next exciting fixtures in the Saudi Pro League. 🔥⚽ #FrankKessie #JeddahDerby #SaudiProLeague #Victory