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Reality check for Pitso as he suffers first defeat at Al Ahli following Al Akhdoud thrashing

  • Mosimane saw his unbeaten run come to an end
  • Al Ahli were thrashed by Al Akhdoud on Thursday
  • Jingles had gone 13 matches without defeat in Saudi

WHAT HAPPENED? Mosimane’s side got off to a good start when Angola defender Bastos broke the deadlock after 34 minutes but Guinea forward Ousmane Barry restored parity for the away side from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime.

Al Ahli then fell apart in the second half, conceding two goals in the space of six minutes, when Housen Al Masabu and Kaka Mendes netted in the 55th and 61st minutes before Barry completed the rout with his second two minutes from time.

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Mosimane had gone unbeaten since joining the Saudi second division side last September, winning eight while drawing five of his first 13 matches in charge, to take the club from seventh to top spot.

He, however, met his waterloo on Tuesday as Al Akhdoud strolled over his side in the presence the watching Al Ahli members of the board to replace them at the top of the table on goal difference.

Defeat for Al Ahli leaves four teams on 37 points, only separated by goal difference, with Al Akhdoud and Al-Hazem occupying the top two spots with Mosimane’s side in third while Al Faisaly are fourth.

Fifth-placed Riyadh are just two points behind, making it a big scramble for the top four spots which guarantee promotion to the top tier.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is one of the heaviest defeats for Mosimane whose teams are known to be tight at the back and it is the first time Al Ahli have let in more than two goals this season.

Jingles joined Al Ahli with the aim of taking them back to the top flight following their relegation last season and while he is still on course, the defeat is a reality check.

Al Ahli have looked revived under the former Mamelodi Sundowns coach who started by making them hard to break before working on their attack.

His unbeaten run had yielded seven cleans sheets while they only conceded more than one goal once during the good run that included wins against highly-fancied Al Faisaly and Al-Hazem.

WHAT’S NEXT? After a perfect January when Al Ahli won five of their last six games, February has started on a bad note but Mosimane’s charges can get back to winning ways away to Al Kholood next Tuesday.