Sakala magic gives Pitso Mosimane first Abha defeat

Pitso Mosimane’s Abha have been handed a massive blow to their survival hopes after falling against ten-men Al Feiha in the 21st round of the Saudi Pro League.

Mosimane took charge of Abha last month and drew his first game in charge at home after conceding a 96th minute against fourth-placed Al-Taawoun.

On Sunday, Abha, sitting 17th, travelled to Al Majma’ah to face 13th-placed Al-Feiha and were given a massive boost after Hussein Al-Shuwaish was shown a straight red card after just four minutes.

The Al-Feiha defender and captain tackled Grzegorz Krychowiak while going through on goal and the VAR instructed the referee to upgrade his initial yellow card to a straight red.

Taking advantage of the numerical advantage, Abha took the lead in the 29th minute from the spot as former PSG midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak calmly slotted his kick.

Everything seemed going toward Abha’s direction; however, all changed as Abdelhamid Sabiri scored a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards out just before the half-time whistle to make it 1-1.

Mosimane brought on Saad Bguir for Krychowiak at half-time as he aimed to go for the three points, but former Rangers striker and Zambia’s striker Fashion Sakala had other thoughts.

Sakala first found the back of the net in the 70th minute after receiving a pass from Ghislain Konan, before brilliantly firing past former AC Milan keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

In the 89th minute, Sakala made it three with a dazzling solo run that saw him go through on goal, before toying with the defender and then firing in.

Ahmed Abdu scored Abha’s second of the game in the 96th minute, but it proved to be just a consolation goal as the game finished in a 3-2 win for Al-Feiha a minute later.

The defeat kept Abha sit 17th in the Saudi Pro League with 15 points, five away from safety, while Al-Feiha jumped up to 10th with 25 points.

Abha’s next game will see them host 16th-placed Al Taee in a six-pointer on the 1st of March.