By Sports Reporter Doha
Al Gharafa move up to fifth in the QSL table after a comprehensive defeat of Arabi
Al Gharafa moved up to fifth in the QSL table after beating their old rivals Al Arabi 4-2 yesterday at the Al Gharafa stadium.
Al Arabi, with new coach Edison Aguirre in charge, started brightly and had good spells of possession early on. Just 13 minutes into the match, the Dream Team’s captain, Boualem Khoukhi, gave the new coach a reason to smile after he scored what will surely be a contender for goal of the season. The number 10 received a lay off 35 yards out and with one touch, smashed a long range shot into the top corner that gave Gharafa’s goalkeeper no chance, and gave his team the lead.
Unfortunately, Al Arabi’s lead didn’t last long. Just minutes later Aguirre’s compatriot Paulinho was deemed to have fouled fellow Brazilian Johnson Kendrick in the box and a penalty was given. Gharafa’s Slovakian international, Vladimir Weiss, stepped up to and made no mistake from the spot.
The pace of the game intensified and Gharafa began putting pressure on Al Arabi, dominating in the final third and creating chance after chance. Gharafa’s intensity eventually paid off and took the lead through their skipper Lawrence Quaye in the 28th minute.
Just five minutes later though, Al Arabi were level again after Boualem Khoukhi bagged his second goal of the match.
But then a two-goal burst from Gharafa, in a span of five minutes turned the match on its head. Gharafa’s first came in the 68th minute when Kwasi stabbed home from just a yard out after a teammate’s header bounced favourably off the crossbar.
Then on the 72nd minute Gharafa were awarded a penalty after the referee deemed that Al Arabi’s captain, Khoukhi, blocked a Gharafa shot with his arm. Hungarian international Krisztian Nemeth converted from the spot to make it 4-2 and secure all three points for The Cheetah’s.
Aguirre has his work cut out with the Dream Team languishing in 11th place in the league. Gharafa leapfrog Umm Salal into fifth.
Al Ahli and Umm Salal settle for a point each in 1-1 draw
Al Ahli and Umm Salal had to settle for a point each yesterday at Al Ahli stadium after the game finished 1-1 in a hard-fought draw. Both sides have endured a mixed start to the 2016/17 QSL season and would have both welcomed three points to push up the table but neither side was able to create many chances in a game which saw limited shots on goal.
Al Ahli got off to a dream start and after just 48 seconds found themselves 1-0 up thanks to Yessoh N’Guessan taking advantage of some sloppy defending from Umm Salal’s back four.
Salal survived a few chances before finally scoring an equaliser in the 83rd minute through substitute Tha’er Bawab.
Both teams pressed for the winner in the remaining ten minutes but neither were able to find the back of the net and both teams left with a much needed point.
Al Ahli 1 – 1 Umm Salal
Al Gharafa 4 – 2 Al Arabi
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