By Sports Reporter Doha
Yousef El Arabi twice on target for former champions; Al-Yahri, Sagbo score in Umm Salal’s 2-0 victory over Muaither
Four-time champions Lekhwiya swept past Al Sailiya, registering an impressive 3-0 win in the Qatar Stars League yesterday.
A double from striker Yousef El Arabi and a goal from captain Karim Boudiaf confirmed all three points for Djamel Belmadi’s side who registered their sixth win of the campaign.
After a slow start, the match kicked into top gear when Lekhwiya’s El Arabi unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box in the 5th minute only for Al Sailiya goalkeeper Gregory Gomis to pouch the ball.
Lekhwiya slowly found their stride in the tie and Red Knights skipper Boudiaf hoodwinked his marker and then fired a shot that was blocked by Sailiya defender Dragos Grigore resulting in a corner kick for the former QSL champions.
From the resulting corner kick, Lekhwiya’s Spanish defender Chico Flores produced a snap-header which sailed above the goalkeeper’s head before hitting the crossbar in the 18th minute.
On the 36th minute Boudiaf produced a neat lob shot from the edge of the box for his side’s first goal. The ball sailed above goalkeeper Gomis’ head and crashed into the right hand side of the net as the Lekhwiya players celebrated the goal in emphatic fashion.
In the last minute before the first-half whistle, the ever lively El Arabi slipped in a neat ball for Korean attacker Nam-Tae Hee but Al Sailiya’s Cameroonian import Raoul Loe put in a timely dive to thwart the danger.
After a lacklustre start to the first half, Lekhwiya sprung into life and doubled their lead on the 56th minute. Lekhwiya striker El Arabi surprised a pack of three Sailiya defenders by firing a curling shot into the back of the net. Marked by Paul Efoulou, Mubark Eid and Dragos Grigore near the Al Sailiya box, El Arabi paused for a fraction of a second before producing a swinging shot to score a memorable goal for his side. Eight minutes later, Al Sailiya nearly scored but for Khalid Muftah’s quick clearance near the goal-line. Efoulou chipped in a ball for Rajab stationed near the Lekhwiya’s goal-line. Thankfully for Lekhiwiya, Muftah quickly moved in and cleared the ball before Rajab could get close to taking a shot with Lekhwiya goalkeeper Claude Amine embarrassingly out of position.
In the 68th minute, Lekhwiya skipper Boudiaf went for a long-range shot towards the Al Sailiyah goal but ‘keeper Gomis produced an acrobatic save, tipping the ball over the crossbar with an airborne right-handed flick.
In the 79th minute, El Arabi doubled his tally for the game and assured Lekhwiya all three points, pouncing on an Ali Afif shot that hit the post and fell to him.
Meanwhile, Umm Salal dominated proceedings to beat newcomers Muaither 2-0, with Abdulaziz al-Yahri and Yannick Sagbo scoring second half goals.
After a predictably slow start – where both sides struggled to stitch threatening moves – Umm Salal picked up a bit of pace in the 21st minute when al-Yahri fired a bullet from close range but his shot was blocked by a Muaither defender though goalkeeper Basel Zaidan was thrown off balance on the goal-line.
With momentum on their side, Umm Salal once again created a bit of breathing space inside the Muaither box – this time al-Yahri chipping a lob ball over three defenders but his shot was quickly picked up by goalkeeper Zaidan in the 26th minute.
Three minutes from the first-half whistle, Umm Salal’s man of the match al-Yahri slipped past his marker Omar Abdul but his deflection from close range was swiftly nipped by goalkeeper Zaidan. In the 66th minute, Alef Santos produced a snap-header inside the Muaither box but his deflection from close range was wayward with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Three minutes later, al-Yahri scored his team’s first and his second goal of the season to put Umm Salal ahead. Lurking inside the Muaither box, al-Yahri made the most of a loose ball and fired a bullet between the legs of defender Abdul, aiming for the right of goalkeeper Zaidan to score his team’s opening goal in the 69th minute.
In the 80th minute, Umm Salal doubled their lead. Halal Mohammed – after dribbling past one Muaither defender – chose to slip the ball to an unmarked Yannick Sagob who rifled a shot past goalkeeper Zaidan with consummate ease.
In another match, Wakrah and Al Arabi played out a 2-2 draw
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