Ahli dent Umm Salal’s top-four hopes, Shamal hold Qatar SC
January 12 2022 11:24 PM
Al Ahli’s Soufiane Bouftini (right) battles for the ball with Umm Salal’s Aymen Hussein during the Q
Al Ahli’s Soufiane Bouftini (right) battles for the ball with Umm Salal’s Aymen Hussein during the QNB Stars League match at the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium yesterday.

By Sports Reporter/ Doha

Al Ahli edged past Umm Salal 2-1 to claim their third victory at the QNB Stars League as the Orange Fortress saw their five-match unbeaten end yesterday.
At the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium, Soufiane Bouftini (21’) put hosts ahead with Yazan al-Naimat (50’) being the other scorer. Abdulrahman Fayez (71’) slashed the lead for Umm Salal but they were denied an equaliser by Al Ahli, who jumped to seventh spot with 16 points from 14 games. The Brigadiers, however, suffered a setback late in the match when Abdalaziz al-Hasia received a red card in stoppage time. Umm Salal stayed fifth with 19 points after their Round 14 match.
Also yesterday, Qatar SC and Al Shamal shared points after a 1-1 draw at Qatar SC Stadium. Nasser al-Nasr gave Al Shamal lead in eighth minute, with Qatar SC bouncing back through a strike from Sebastian Soria (45+4) during stoppage time of first half. Qatar SC pressed hard for a winner in the second half but Al Shamal resisted well to secure a point.  Shamal remain tenth while Qatar SC are ninth.

Al Duhail TAKE ON
Al Gharafa today  
Meanwhile, title contenders Al Duhail will take on Al Gharafa in their Round 14 clash at the Al Gharafa Stadium today. Coached by Portuguese Luis Castro, Al Duhail are second in the table with 29 points from 13 matches, two points less than reigning champions Al Sadd who have played two games less because their Week 11 fixture against Al Wakrah and Week 12 match against Qatar SC got postponed as many players were infected with coronavirus. Al Duhail defeated Al Arabi 2-0 in the previous round.
“I am completely satisfied with our defence and now we have to ensure we do not make mistakes because we suffered from them,” said Castro.  
“Due to injuries and absences, it was difficult for us to find a squad to play two matches in a row, and I did not have enough players. The Qatar league is very difficult and we respect all competitors,” he added.
Al Gharafa, under Andrea Stramaccioni, are third in the table with 23 points. They played a goalless draw with Al Ahli in Week 13.
 “What increases the difficulty of the match is that Al Duhail are coming from victory over Al Arabi and we are in a period that witnessed many matches in a short time. We played with the same players. It is important for us to reach the best shape before the start of the match,” said Stramaccioni.
“Ahmed Alaa, Cheick Diabate, Moayed Hassan, Almahdi Ali and Al Hajj… These players could have helped us and were ready but for their absences. I also hope either Almahdi or Al Hajj will return to action,” he added.
In other matches today, Al Wakrah will take on Al Khor while Al Sailiya will meet Al Arabi.
The Round 14 match between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan has been postponed after former’s request as their players had been infected with the coronavirus.

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