RIFFA Club are only one step away from claiming the VIVA Bahrain Premier League title thanks to a dramatic 3-2 win over local rivals East Riffa at Shaikh Khalifa Sports City in Isa Town last night. Leading the league by two points over reigning champions Muharraq heading into last night's game, Al Riffa were looking to dispel a recent run of bad form that had seen them win only once in their last four outings.
They got off to a great start when John Jambo opened the scoring after 13 minutes and they held on to that slender advantage until half-time.
Back East Riffa came after the break however and they equalised through Faisal Budahoum just shy of the hour mark.
Carrying that momentum forward, East Riffa stormed into the lead just five minutes later with a goal from Ahmed Hassan.
Ali Marzooqi cancelled out the deficit on 83 minutes to make it 2-2 but as the match slipped deep into injury time, it seemed as though Riffa had slipped up again.
Dramatically though, in the fifth minute of added time, Riffa were awarded a penalty and up stepped Jambo to fire home and keep the dream alive.
Following that win, Muharraq had the chance to keep the pressure on the leaders in the second game of the evening at Shaikh Khalifa City but they were held to a scoreless draw by Hidd.
The results mean Al Riffa are now four points clear of their nearest challengers at the top of the table, with only two games left to play and a possible six points up for grabs.
With that two-point gap and the easier run-in, the title remains very much in Riffa's hands and a win in either of their remaining games against Al Ahli or Al Najma will guarantee them the title.
For Muharraq, the aim will be to gain maximum points from their games against sixth-placed Al Bahrain and Busaiteen, who are third, while hoping Riffa somehow manage to throw it away.
In the third match of last night played out at Muharraq Stadium, Al Hala upset the form book by hammering third-placed Busaiteen 5-1.
Ahmed Al Khaffal did most of the damage for Al Hala, as he completed his hat-trick before half-time.
The lead was increased by goals from Yousef Zwayyed and Jassim Ayesh in the second period, with Mohammed Najeeb grabbing a consolation goal for Buaiteen.
The 2011-2012 VIVA Bahrain Premier League season comes to a close with the 18th and final round of action on the weekend of May 25, 26 and 27.