QNB Stars League Round 8 Match Report — Al Gharafa 2 Al Sailiya 3

Peregrines win a thriller

Al Sailiya continued their winning run by beating hosts Al Gharafa 3-2 in a thriller in Round 8 of the QNB Stars League on Saturday.

Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov (61st-minute penalty), Nadir Belhadj (72nd) and Mohammed Mudhater (90th) scored for Al Sailiya, while Othman Al Yahri (68th) and Ahmed Alaeldin (85th) found the target for Al Sailiya.

The Peregrines took their points tally to 18 with sixth victory, while The Cheetahs stayed on seven with one win and four draws.

After Mudhater struck home what turned out to be the winner in the last minute, Al Yahri almost hit again for Al Gharafa in virtually the last kick of the match in four-minute stoppage time, but for a diving save by the rival goalkeeper.

Al Sailiya played an attacking game from the word go, while Al Gharafa were defensive. Al Sailiya had much more ball possession and showed purpose in their attacks, with Abdukholiqov and Valentin Lazar taking the initiative. However, Al Gharafa, whose first chance came in the 18th when Diego Amado took a feeble shot, defended well.

The game came really alive after the hour mark. The floodgates opened when prolific scorer Abdukholiqov converted from the spot. Since then, it was an open game and both sides kept creating chances, with Al Gharafa goalkeeper Qasim Burhan always on his toes.

In hindsight, the absence of influential Slovak Vladimir Weiss adversely affected Al Gharafa’s game.

Al Sailiya are next up against Al Khor and Al Gharafa run into Al Rayyan.