By Sports Reporter / Doha
• Gharafa now have won both their matches, the same as heavyweights Al Sadd and Al Duhail
Sofiane Hanni’s 85th-minute penalty earned Al Gharafa a 1-0 win over Al Ahli in the QNB Stars League yesterday. The closely-fought match seemed destined to end in a goalless draw before Gharafa won a penalty which was duly converted by Algerian midfielder Hanni.
Gharafa now have won both their matches, the same as heavyweights Al Sadd and Al Duhail. Al Ahli have lost one and drawn one.
Meanwhile, Al Wakrah and Al Rayyan shared points following a pulsating 1-1 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium. Nasser al-Yazidi (43rd minute) scored for Al Wakrah, while Al Rayyan managed to equalize through substitute Tameem Mansour al-Abdullah in stoppage time (90+2), much to the delight of their French coach Laurent Blanc.
This was the second successive draw for Al Rayyan who were held 2-2 by Umm Salal in Week 1, whereas Al Wakrah had lost 0-1 to Al Arabi. Early in the match, Al Rayyan’s Hashem Ali produced a powerful shot from the edge of the box, but Al Wakrah goalkeeper Saoud al-Khater blocked the trajectory of the ball.
Al Wakrah, however, kept their pressure on Al Rayyan with sustained attacks. In the 21st minute, Mohamed Benyettou managed a missile from outside the box. The ball smashed into the Al Rayyan crossbar and bounced back.
In the 23rd minute, Al Rayyan striker Yohan Boli, after receiving an open cross from the centre, missed his target despite having time and space to shoot straight into the net with only Al Wakrah keeper al-Khater to beat.
Five minutes on, Boli wasted another chance to score, this time from close range. Al Rayyan skipper Abdulaziz Hatem charged into the Al Wakrah box and his rather feeble shot beat keeper al-Khater, but the ball sailed past the goalpost to his right in the 32nd minute.
Close to half-time whistle, Al Wakrah’s al-Yazdi missed a shot at goal, but soon afterwards made up for it by finding the net. After a goalmouth melee, al-Yazidi aimed for the goal from close range, but the ball got deflected by an Al Rayyan defender and crashed into net.
In the 68th minute, Boli aimed at the goal from close range, but the Al Wakrah custodian blocked the shot with a move. Al Wakrah’s Khaled Muneer also missed a similar close-range shot in the 77th minute.
However, Tameem saved Al Rayyan’s blushes deep into the game by deflecting a cross from Khaled Muftah into the net from close range.
Earlier, Umm Salal and Al Khor shared points with a 1-1 draw. Ali Ferydoon (32nd minute) opened the scoring for Umm Salal. Al Khor fought back with a goal through Said Brahimi in the 70th minute.
After a few feisty exchanges, Umm Salal made their first attack on the Al Khor goal in the 10th minute. Yasin al-Bakhit charged into the box with a solo run moving in from the flank and produced a shot that was blocked by Al Khor keeper Baba Djibril. Ferydoon, standing nearby, had the time and the space to flick a loose ball into the net, but he ended up sending the ball past the crossbar from close range.
In the 12th minute, Al Khor’s Brahimi – on the edge of Umm Salal box – curled in a spectacular shot that was palmed away by keeper Khalifa Aboobackar. Two minutes later, Umm Salal returned an attack, but Isael Barbosa’s goal from close range was ruled offside.
In the 16th minute, Aymen Hussein produced a long-range shot that bounced off the Al Khor crossbar. Umm Salal opened the scoring through a one-two by Bakhit and Ferydoon. Bakhit covered a lot of ground working his way into the box from the left flank before chopping the ball towards an unmarked Ferydoon. Using a short jump, Ferydoon flicked the ball into the net from close range. Five minutes from the end of first half, Naif al-Buriki of Al Khor managed a snap-header off a corner kick, but the deflection sailed above the Umm Salal crossbar.
Seven minutes into the second half, Umm Salal’s Isael lined up a shot from the edge of box, but his shot sailed past. Al Khor equalised when Ahmad Hassan al-Mohannadi picked Brahimi with a short cross from outside the box. Brahimi anticipated the cross, hoodwinked a couple of defenders shadowing him and sent the ball crashing into the net with a right-footed shot.
Action from the match between Al Wakrah and Al Rayyan at the Khalifa International Stadium yesterday.
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