By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Duhail registered their second win of the new QNB Stars League season after the boys in Red eased to a 2-0 victory over Al Arabi yesterday at Duhail stadium. Goals from Qatar international Almoez Ali and Yusef Msakni sealed the win for Djamel Belmadi’s side that kicked off the 2017-18 campaign with a 3-2 victory over Qatar SC last weekend.
Later, Al Khor picked up their first points of the QNB Stars League season with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Al Ahli.
Adopting to play aggressively from the start, Al Duhail won a corner just 20 seconds into the game but their Brazilian defender Lucas Mendes failed to convert a left-footed drive into the net from close range. Moments later, Jasser Yahya of Al Arabi produced a neat tackle to block Al Duhail skipper Msakni who had charged into the former’s box with the goal in sight.
Al Duhail, underlining their intentions, sustained their fine start in attack putting the visitors under pressure in the opening exchanges. In the 11th minute, feared Korean attacker Nam Tae Hee swivelled past two of his markers but his left-footed drive from close range was smartly blocked by Al Arabi goalkeeper Naeem Hussein.
However, Duhail’s early pressure paid dividends with the Red Knights opening the scoring on the 13th minute through Almoez Ali. Stationed inside the Al Arabi box, last season’s U23 player of the year headed home following a neat cross from Ismael Mohamed on the left flank. It was Ali’s second goal of the season.
Arabi did try to create chances and in the 18th minute, Arabi’s Brazilian midfielder Diego Jardel curled in a powerful shot from the edge of the box but the ball was punched away by Al Duhail goalkeeper Khalifa Ndiaye. The first half ended with the hosts going in with a narrow one goal lead.
Duhail continued to dominate in the second period, enjoying the majority of the ball. Soon after the hour-mark, in-form Duhail number 10 NamTae-hee hit the Al Arabi crossbar with a cleverly-taken chip that sailed above ‘keeper Huessin’s head but bounced back without causing any damage.
To wrap up a commanding performance, hosts Al Duhail doubled their lead through captain Msakni, who found the net with a low shot in the 75th minute of the match. The Tunisian held of the advances of Arabi defender Ammar Jemal before slotting into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
In the second match of the day, two goals in the second half, from summer signing Soroush Rafiei and a controversial late goal from Brazillian Madson, gave the Knights all three points.
Just past the hour mark, Iranian midfielder Rafiei’s chipped effort from the edge of the box found the back of the net, much to the relief of his teammates.
Al Ahli sought to get back into the tie, and could have found a leveller had Simao Mate’s snap header just missed the target. In the 88th minute, Khor scored their second in controversial fashion. Brazilian midfielder Madson saw his shot from the half-way line go in, after the player noticed Ahli keeper Yazan Naeem helping a Khor player in his box. Sensing an opportunity the diminutive attacker shot from distance and found the back of the net, much to the anger of the Al Ahli players.
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