By Sports Reporter/Doha
Umm Salal beat Muaither SC 1-0 at Qatar Sports Club in the Qatar Stars League thanks to a lucky first half own goal, leaving the league strugglers facing imminent relegation as the end of the season nears.
Umm Salal came into game full of confidence after their shock 3-1 defeat over then league leaders Lekhwiya in Round 21. Muaither SC turned up hoping to bounce back after a heavy defeat at the hands of Al Rayyan who hammered them 5-0 in the last round but they were unlucky after looking the better team over the 90 minutes.
The first half was an open and fairly balanced affair with both teams having decent spells of possession and both goalkeepers seeing their fair share of action in the box. Despite both teams looking good, it was an own goal that broke the deadlock and gifted Umm Salal a 1-0 lead.
Muaither’s Ahmed Shahi headed the ball into the back of his own net on the 34th minute when attempting to stop Umm Salal’s Yannick Sagbo connect with a fierce cross from the right wing. Looking to put the ball out for a corner and out of Sagbo’s reach at the near post, Shahi instead headed it into the bottom right hand corner of his own goal to give The Orange Fortress a lucky lead.
Muaither pressed on though and looked the better team for the remainder of the half, coming close to an equaliser on the 44th minute when their Japanese midfielder, Minori Sato, picked up the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box and turned on his defender and onto his right before unleashing a fierce shot towards the bottom right corner of the goal. Fortunately for Umm Salal, Baba Malick was well positioned and able to smother the shot.
Muaither came out in the second half at the same pace and nearly equalised on the 71st minute in dramatic fashion when substitute Ibrahim al-Nasr hit a lovely volley from 20 yards out. But the ball skimmed the outside of the post and went out for a goal-kick.
Muaither hammered Umm Salal for the remainder of the second half and for the last 10 minutes Baba Malick was the busiest man on the pitch, making a number of crucial stops, fingertip saves and having to constantly defend corners and free kicks conceded outside the box.
Despite the pressure, Muaither were not able to find the equaliser and left empty handed and firmly in the relegation danger zone.
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