By Sports Reporter/Doha
Rodrigo Tabata’s late equaliser spared Al Rayyan’s blushes as they split points with Umm Salal in a thrilling QNB Stars League clash at the Al Sadd Stadium yesterday.
Yannick Sagbo put Umm Salal ahead in the 16th minute, but Al Rayyan captain Tabata found the net in the 75th to help his side pick up a point.
Sagbo opened the scoring with a neat finish in the Al Rayyan box. The Ivorian picked up a lob, evaded the marking by Mowafak Awad and Musa Haroon before slipping a low ball past the goalkeeper.
It was Sagbo’s second goal of the new season.
In the 23rd minute, striker Sebastian Soria hoodwinked his marker, but his feeble left-footed drive was blocked by Umm Salal’s Adil Rhaili.
At the half-hour mark, South Korean international Koh Myong-Jin slipped a low cross for Tabata, but he was outrun by Rhaili who ended up blocking the move with a diving lunge at the ball.
Five minutes into the second half, Al Rayyan’s Abdulrahman Al Korbi launched a bullet from 40 yards, but the ball narrowly missed the target.
After a series of attacks came Al Rayyan’s equaliser. Soria provided a loopy cross to Tabata who headed home from close range. Mahmoud Mawas flicked the ball away, but the header had clearly crossed the goalline. The rebound was knocked into the net by substitute Khalfan Ibrahim.
Moments later, Koh deflected a high ball towards the Umm Salal goal, but the shot narrowly missed the target as Al Rayyan clearly looked the better side in the second half.
Umm Salal are still without a win in the new season while Al Rayyan have four points from two matches.
In the second match of the day, Al Ahli produced a fighting display to beat Qatar Sports Club 2-0.
A superb double by Ali Fereydoun (10th and 76th minutes) saw Al Ahli home. It was a welcome result for Al Ahli, who had lost to Al Rayyan in the first round.
After a cagey start, Al Ahli opened the scoring against an in-form Qatar SC after a great run by Fereydoun who dribbled and shot past goalkeeper Jassim al-Hail with lightning speed.
Qatar SC players, who stunned former champions Al Gharafa in Week 1, were caught unawares by Fereydoun’s speed and finish.
Close to the half-hour mark, Qatar SC striker Osama Omari curled in a direct free-kick only to be blocked by Al Ahli goalkeeper Yazan Naim.
Other than conceding an early goal, the Qatar SC keeper remained alert throughout the first half, thrice thwarting dangerous moves by the rivals.
At the one-hour mark, Mohsin al-Yazeedi was brought in place of Nasser Saleh by Al Ahli coach Milan Macala to beef up the attack.
A minute later, Al Ahli stalwart Meshaal Abdulla flicked one from close range, but his shot was neatly blocked by al-Hail as Al Ahli failed to double their lead.
Fereydoun then doubled the lead with a spectacular snap-header off a cross from Al Yazeedi, with the former jumping high to deflect the ball into the net.
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