QNB Stars League Week 16 — Al Arabi 0 Al Ahli 4
Al Ahli defeated hosts Al Arabi 4-0 in Week 16 of the QNB Stars League on Saturday.
Hamza Younes (31st-min penalty), Simao Mate (49th), Saad Natiq (own goal 90+1) and Meshaal Abdullah (90+3) scored the goals as The Brigadiers moved to 19 points to stay seventh in the standings. Al Arabi remained on 12 points.
It was a much-needed fifth victory for Al Ahli, their first in the second phase and also under Spanish coach George Jorge who replaced compatriot Joaquin Caparros before the start of second phase. They had not won a match after their upset 2-0 win over Al Rayyan in Week 11 on 7th December.
Al Ahli achieved the victory in the absence of their midfield stalwart Yassine Chikhaoui. Ali Qadri made up for it with a good display and even set the stage for their second goal before being substituted by Abdullah Taleb Afifa after one hour. It was from Ali’s corner kick that Mate headed in their second goal.
In hindsight, Al Arabi, who had held Al Sailiya, Umm Salal and Qatar SC in the second phase, were not at their best even though Khalfan Ibrahim and Diego Jardel did try hard.
As the game progressed, Al Arabi played second fiddle to their rivals. They had a chance to reduce the margin 10 minutes from time, but Mohammed Kanneh hit his shot against the right post. Similarly, Ghanaian striker Kwame Karikari was thwarted by Al Ahli goalkeeper Yazan Naim soon after the first goal.
The five-minute stoppage time saw hectic action as Al Ahli added two more goals. Meshaal Mubarak’s cross from the left was accidentally guided into his own net by Iraqi defender Saad before Meshaal Abdullah beat a shattered Al Arabi defence.