By Sports Reporter Doha
Al Gharafa handed Qatar SC a 3-1 defeat in Week 3 of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium yesterday.
Othman al-Yahri led Al Gharafa’s charge with two goals (67th and 73rd minutes). Ahmed Alaaeldin (40th minute) was The Cheetahs’ other scorer.
Uzbek striker Sardor Rashidov had put Qatar SC ahead by scoring in the 37th minute, but Al Gharafa fought back, cheered on by their fans.
Al Gharafa thus have seven points with an unbeaten record. They had earlier beaten Al Shahania and drawn with Al Rayyan.
Qatar SC remained the only side, along with Al Shahania, yet to collect a point in the 12-team tournament.
Al Gharafa dominated the early exchanges, but Qatar SC took the lead against the run of play when Rashidov took advantage of a fumble by Al Gharafa goalkeeper Qasim Burhan who left his charge to collect the ball just outside the box.
Pat came Al Gharafa’s reply as Ahmed Alaaeldin capitalised on a melee in the rival penalty area.
Al Gharafa’s Ahmed Mohamed failed to connect a header in front of the goal, while Rashidov saw his long shot being collected by Burhan after the goalkeeper fumbled with his first attempt as the first half drew to a close.
Both teams upped their game in the second half and Al Gharafa had the last laugh, with Othman notching a double.
He was spot-on for the first time following a move initiated by Koo Ja-Cheol, and after Sofiane Hanni and Ahmed Alaaeldin passed the ball on to him.
His second, and Al Gharafa’s third, was a solo effort by Othman.
Before Othman’s goals, Hanni had a good chance to score, but for the alertness of Qatar SC goalkeeper Jassim al-Hail.
Qatar SC made some last-ditch efforts, with Rashidov at the helm. He came close twice, but the scoreline remained the same.
Earlier, Al Wakrah secured an impressive 2-0 victory against Al Shahania.
Mohamed Benyettou was the scorer of both goals for Al Wakrah, with the strikes coming in the 63rd and 80th minutes.
A lively first half saw several good opportunities spurned as both sides pushed for an early breakthrough. The first major effort came when Al Shanania’s Kesse Amangoua rose to meet a cross from Ramin Rezaeian, but his header went wide when he really should have hit the target.
Shortly after, Reza Shanbeh whipped in a cross from the left which caused havoc among the defence and Rezaeian’s snapshot was deflected marginally wide.
Al Wakrah then nearly caught their hosts by surprise on a blistering counter-attack, with Khalid Muneer the architect. His weaving run and powerful, dipping shot was kept out by an impressive save from Ebrahim Daryoush.
After the break, Al Shahania nearly grabbed the first goal of the match when a driving run and excellent shot from Amangoua was again parried to safety on a night when both goalkeepers were on top form.
The breakthrough finally came midway through the second half, thanks to a neat exchange of passes which split the home defence. Omar Ali and Cristian Ceballos combined down the left before the latter pulled the ball back to the oncoming Benyettou, who was on hand to drill the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards.
With the game drawing to a close, Benyettou dispossessed Saad Hussein near the halfway line before surging into the box, turning Mostafa Jalal inside out and then rounding Daryoush to make the points safe.
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