QNB Stars League Round 4 - Al Sailiya 2 Al Kharaitiyat 1
Wagner Ribeiro first played the role of a maker and then that of a taker as Al Sailiya consolidated their good position in the standings with nine points following a 2-1 victory over Al Kharaitiyat in the QNB Stars League Round 4 at the Al Ahli Stadium on Saturday night.
Al Kharaitiyat took the lead in the 36th minute against the run of play when Rachid Tiberkanine found the target off a through pass from defender Anwar Diba, the swift counter-attack catching the rival defenders off-guard.
Al Sailiya struck back three minutes later as Temurkhuja Abdukholikov evaded his markers and nodded home from a Wagner free-kick from the right. Wagner then hit the winner with a long diagonal shot in the 63rd minute.
The game started off on a slow pace, but gradually gained momentum. Al Kharaitiyat made some early moves, with Rachid and Sanjar Tursunov testing the rival defence, but Al Sailiya then took charge. Their game revolved around Wagner, who occasionally probed the opposing goal with his darting runs from the middle.
Wagner thus underlined coach Sami Trabelsi’s trust in him when the Tunisian, addressing the pre-match Press Conference, defended the player’s bad patch that resulted in him being benched for some time. Indeed, the attacking midfielder is back to his best.
Al Kharaitiyat’s woes compounded when Ahmed Eissa received a straight red card for a lunging foul on Valentin Marius. Their last chance for an equaliser came in stoppage time, but Diba’s thunderous free-kick from the right went inches wide.
Al Kharaitiyat now face an uphill task in the coming rounds.