QNB Stars League Match Report — Al Gharafa 1 Al Markhiya 1
Former champions Al Gharafa were held to a 1-1 draw by a fighting Al Markhiya in Round 7 of the QNB Stars League.
Hosts Al Gharafa saw Vladimir Weiss score in the 10th minute, but Al Markhiya equalised through Kwame Karikari in the 64th. Both teams have only one win each thus far. Al Gharafa have six points and Al Markhiya five.
Al Gharafa launched the proceedings on a cautious note, but it did not help them take the lead in the hard-fought clash. However, they opened the scoring through Slovakian midfielder Weiss, who found the net in spectacular fashion.
Weiss, surrounded by four Al Markhiya defenders, outpaced his challengers and forced goalkeeper Mohamed Khoroub to charge out of spot. A calm Weiss ran around the goalkeeper and clipped the ball into the net from close range. It was Weiss’ fourth goal of the season.
Both sides traded attacks, but Al Markhiya surprisingly defended well in the first half.
After a string of attacks early in the second half, Karikari, Al Markhiya’s import from Ghana, produced the equaliser.
Saleh Al Bazidi clipped a near-perfect long ball from the right flank towards Karikari who was stationed inside the Al Gharafa box. Karikari jumped high and headed the ball home with a beautiful deflection that allowed goalkeeper Qassim Burhan no chance to offer any resistance.
Late in the second half, Karikari showed pace by swooping into the Al Gharafa box, but his near-perfect pass towards U-23 player Mohammed Shaheen went waste as the young player could not connect with his header from close range in the 86th.