QNB Stars League Week 10 Match Report — Al Gharafa 3 Al Arabi 1


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Hosts Al Gharafa registered their second victory in the QNB Stars League when they overcame Al Arabi 3-1 in the opening action of Week 10 on Thursday.

The Cheetahs now have 10 points, while Al Arabi stayed on six.

Ahmed Alaaeldin (61st minute), Amro Seraj (73rd) and captain Luis Jimenez (85th) scored for Al Gharafa, while Khalfan Ibrahim (58th) was on target for Al Arabi in a match that came alive after the halfway mark. 

The absence of injured Syrian striker Mardik Mardikian and suspended Hamad Ismail, an enterprising winger, was felt in the Al Arabi ranks. 

Al Gharafa went on the offensive from the word go and created a couple of chances in the first 10 minutes. Amro Seraj’s rising shot was tipped over the bar by Al Arabi goalkeeper Muhannad Naim, who blocked Othman Al Yahri’s attempt soon afterwards.

Al Arabi’s first attempt came after 15 minutes, but Yousef Ahmed failed to connect a cross in front of an open goal.

At the other end, Al Gharafa’s Portuguese forward Diego Amado cracked his shot against the horizontal a minute past the half-hour mark after defender Yasim Yaghoub made a mistake with his pass.

Al Gharafa playmaker Vladimir Weiss, who started the game for the first time after recovering from an injury, was stretchered off at the fag end of the first half as he fell ill with acute pain on his right knee. The Slovak had come off the bench after an hour in their loss to Al Duhail last week and scored their second goal.

Al Arabi started the second session aggressively and were rewarded before long when Khalfan Ibrahim found the back of the net after Yousuf Hassan, who kept the Al Gharafa goal in place of experienced Qasim Burhan, fumbled with his shot.

Khalfan had missed their last two matches de to an injury.

The home team soon drew parity through a header by Alaaeldin, who replaced Weiss and surged ahead through Amro Seraj, with Othman doing all the hard work for the goal.

Jimenez put the matter beyond the visitors’ control by converting a free-kick with a grounder of a shot that caught the rival defenders and goalkeeper napping. 

Al Gharafa travel to Qatar SC and Al Arabi host Al Khor in Week 11.