Duhail held by gritty Arabi as Al Wakrah pip Qatar SC
August 29 2019 11:13 PM
Aron Gunnarson
Aron Gunnarson celebrates as he his congratulated by Al Arabi players after he scored the equaliser against Al Duhail yesterday. PICTURE: Ram Chand

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Al Duhail dropped points in their second match of the QNB Stars League when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a gritty Al Arabi at the Al Janoub Stadium yesterday.
Yousef Msakni took Al Duhail ahead by scoring as early as the seventh minute, only to see Al Arabi restore parity through Aron Gunnarsson in the 40th minute.
Al Arabi, who had beaten Al Ahli 3-1 in Week 1, had Gregory Gomis’ rock-solid performance under the bar to thank for their draw.
The fast-paced action saw The Red Knights seize the early initiative through Msakni. The Dream Team soon hit back, but defender Morteza Mohammed shot wide.
After Al Duhail’s Ali Afif’s shot was blocked by Musab Keder, Paolo Edmilson had a goal disallowed for offside by referee Mohamed al-Shammari.
Al Duhail attackers kept the rival defenders on their toes and Gomis thwarted Almoez Ali.
At the other end, Al Arabi’s Hamdi Harbaoui saw his bicycle kick go over the bar and striker Mohamed Salah El Neel came up with a cracker of a shot, a minute before Gunnarsson’s equaliser with a power-packed grounder. 
Msakni missed a sitter in first-half injury time by skying the ball with only Gomis to beat.
Soon after resumption, Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s headed goal was disallowed, also for offside and the efforts of Edmilson and El Neel went in vain.
Al Arabi brought in Fahad Khalfan, Hossam Kamal and Jassem Gaber, while Al Duhail’s Mohamed Muntari came off the bench for Mohannad Ali, who was off-target time and again.
Towards the end, Gunnarsson wreaked havoc with a volley, Almoez hit the side netting, Gomis saved Bassam al-Rawi’s effort and then Al Arabi defender Marc Muniesa effected a goalline save as the teams shared points from a thriller. Meanwhile, Al Wakrah scored an impressive 2-0 victory over Qatar SC at the Al Sadd Stadium.
Promoted Al Wakrah, who had lost to reigning champions Al Sadd 1-4 in their opener, surged ahead through an own goal by Alejandro Jimena in the 39th minute. And substitute Ismail Mahmoud doubled their lead in the 69th minute as Qatar SC suffered their second successive defeat, having lost 1-2 to Al Duhail earlier. Qatar SC had more of the ball with 60 per cent possession at half-time and 61 per cent at the final whistle, yet they were at the receiving end.
Al Wakrah created more chances and made use of them.
The own goal by Jimena resulted from a headed clearance off a corner kick from the left.
After Al Wakrah’s Cristian Ceballos’ shot was stopped by Qatar SC goalkeeper Jassim al-Hail, Qatar SC’s Abdelaziz Metwali skied the ball. Qatar SC’s Junior Kabananga then came close to scoring in first-half stoppage time.
There was no respite for action after the start of second half. Al Wakrah striker Mohamed Benyettou sent his shot wide and Al Wakrah goalkeeper Saoud al-Khater blocked Ali Awad’s header from close. The 69th minute saw Ismail help Al Wakrah go 2-0 up with a rising shot.
Benyettou was fouled by Musa Haroon the next minute, resulting in a forehead injury to the former, and Sanchez Cortes sent the resultant free-kick straight to al-Hail.
The Kings revved up their attack with substitutions as the game wore on, but all their efforts could not stop The Blue Wave from collecting full points.

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