By Sports Reporter/ Doha
• Al Gharafa beat Umm Salal 1-0 thanks to Diabete’s strike; Al Wakrah and Al Ahli play out a 0-0 draw
Al Rayyan failed to register its first win of the season after being held to a 2-2 draw by Al Khor in the QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium yesterday.
Ismail Haddad (first minute) and Said Brahimi (30th minute) scored the goals for Al Khor, while Yohan Boli (20th minute) and Yacine Brahimi (57th-minute penalty) found the net for Al Rayyan. Laurent Blanc’s Rayyan are eighth with three points, while Al Khor are 11th with two points.
In just the first minute, Al Khor opened the scoring in what turned out to be a feisty contest. Al Rayyan keeper Fahad Younes, in an attempt to clear a back pass, fired the ball towards Al Khor’s Brahimi who was stationed on the edge of the box.
Brahmi picked out Haddad with a short cross to his left and the latter slipped the ball into the goal with a left-footed flick past the keeper as Al Khor celebrated a shock goal in just the opening minute. In the ninth minute, off a corner kick, Dame Traore of Al Rayyan managed a snap-header, but the deflection from close range landed on top of the Al Khor net.
Soon afterwards, Al Rayyan won a penalty when Al Khor captain Naif al-Buraiki brought down Boli inside the box. Brahimi’s spot kick was saved by Al Khor keeper Baba Djibril with a dive to his right. On the resultant corner kick, Boli flicked a loose ball into the net with a quick swivel from close range.
In the 30th minute, Al Khor were 2-1 up through a brilliant field goal. Greek international Giannis Fetfatzidis, after picking up a cross from the edge of the box, dribbled his way past three Al Rayyan players before before slipping the ball to an unmarked Said Brahimi, who easily sent the ball crashing into the net. Five minutes into the second half, Boli, who had time and space to position himself, misfired with a snap-header from close on a cross from Ali Malolah.
Just shy of the hour mark, Hashem Ali was roughly tackled by Anas Ahmed Ibrahim and the referee pointed to the spot. And Yacine Brahimi easily converted the penalty.
In an earlier match, Al Gharafa beat Umm Salal 1-0 at the Khalifa International Stadium thanks to Cheick Diabete’s 59th minute strike. It was Al Gharafa’s third victory and they now have nine points. Umm Salal stayed on three points.
In the 10th minute, Adel Alawi of Umm Salal, after picking up a short cross near the edge of the box, curled in a rather weak shot that swung away from the goalpost to the right of Al Gharafa keeper Yousef Hassan.
Yassin Bakhit of Umm Salal, a minute later, also attempted a similar shot from the edge of the box, but the Jordanian was off-target with his left-footed drive. In the 38th minute, a 1-2 by Hassan Muayed and Ahmed al-Janehi nearly brought Al Gharafa the opening goal. Muayed’s header from inside the box on a cross from Al Janehi narrowly missed the target.
A couple of minutes later, Muayed got close to the Umm Salal goal despite Atef Zaghbani chasing him, but his shot from close range hit the goalpost.
Just before the hour mark, Al Gharafa grabbed the lead through a long solo run by Diabete. After receiving a short cross from Othman Alawi near the centreline, Diabete ran all the way until the edge of the Umm Salal box, with Sayed Hassan giving the Malian striker a hot chase. From the edge of the box, Diabete unleashed a powerful shot that crashed into the top of the net and Umm Salal keeper Khalifa Ababacar unable to manage a save.
In the 76th minute, Ali Ferydoon of Umm Salal broke free of his marker inside the Al Gharafa box, but his rushed shot hit the outside of the net.
In the third match of the day, Al Wakrah and Al Ahli played out a 0-0 draw. Al Wakrah raised their points to five (one victory, two draws and one loss), while Al Ahli moved on to three points (3 draws and a defeat).
Al Khor’s Said Brahimi celebrates after scoring against Al Rayyan at the Al Gharafa Stadium yesterday. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
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