Mohammadi’s late strike helps Arabi beat Umm Salal
October 19 2020 11:44 PM
Al Arabi’s Mehrdad Mohammadi (centre) celebrates after scoring a last-minute winner against Umm Salal in the QNB Stars League at the Al Arabi Stadium.

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Mehrdad Mohammadi scored in the stoppage time as Al Arabi pulled off a sensational 2-1 win over Umm Salal in the QNB Stars League at the Al Arabi Stadium yesterday.
The match seemed to be heading for a draw before Mohammadi struck in dying seconds of the match. The victory was much-needed for Al Arabi as it was their first of the season as they climbed out of the relegation zone. They are in seventh position with four points.
Abdulaziz al-Ansari had given Arabi lead in the first half befor Abdennour Belhocini pulled one back for Umm Salal in the 68th minute through a penalty.
After being held 2-2 by Al Khor in Week 1, Al Arabi had lost 0-2 to Al Ahli and 1-2 to Al Gharafa. The Dream Team had lost the 2019-20 season Ooredoo Cup final to Al Sadd by a 0-4 margin on 10th October, but they held Al Rayyan to a 1-1 draw in Round 3 of the 2020-21 season Ooredoo Cup on 14th October.
Umm Salal have only the  point that they earned from their goalless draw with Al Khor in Week 2. The Orange Fortress had lost 0-3 to Al Duhail in their opener and then 0-2 to Al Wakrah in Week 3. Al Arabi had more of the ball (62 per cent) in the match, but they had to wait till the death to script a dramatic win.
In the first half, Aron Gunnarsson and al-Ansari sent their shots wide, while new recruit Mahdi Torabi impressed with his skills. At the other end, Ismail Mahmoud twice made attempts at the goal.
Al-Ansari’s goal, a header, resulted from Mehrdad’s free-kick. Al Arabi continued their attacking ways in the second session, but Umm Salal managed to draw level through Belhocini’s penalty awarded when Al Arabi’s Khalaf Saad ‘handled the ball’ on the edge of the penalty box.
When the game headed towards a draw came a brilliantly-executed bicycle kick by Mehrdad that beat Umm Salal goalkeeper Baba Malick hands down after Abdullah al-Marafi crossed the ball from the right.

Boli strikes for Rayyan
Later, Yohan Boli’s 49th-minute goal ensured a 1-0 win for Al Rayyan against Al Wakrah at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium. Boli’s third goal of the season propelled last year’s runners-up to fourth in the table with seven points.  Wakrah, meanwhile, are sixth with six points after their second loss of the season.
Rayyan went into the match having lost to Qatar Sports Club before the international break. But yesterday they put on a controlled display to put their campaign back on track.

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