By Sports Reporter/Doha
Giannis Fetfatzidid struck a brace as Al Khor stunned Al Ahli 2-1 in the QNB Stars League at the Al Ahli Stadium yesterday. Fetfatzidid’s goals came in the second and seventh minute as The Knights moved on to 10 points but stay one place above bottom.
Al Ahli pulled one back in the form of an own goal by Al Khor defender Rafael Dos Santos in the 63rd minute but ran out of time to find an equaliser. Al Ahli, who once led the QNB Stars League standings, slipped to sixth from fifth with 22 points. They have same points as Al Rayyan but are placed sixth position on goal difference.
It was Al Khor’s only second victory in this season’s tournament and the three points that they collected would prove crucial in their bid to survive in the top flight. Both teams came off defeats, with Al Ahli losing to Al Arabi and Al Khor losing to Umm Salal by an identical 0-1 margin in Week 13. However, Al Khor had the last laugh this time around.
Al Khor cruised to an early lead as Giannis scored off an assist by Elnagi Elsadiq following a faulty clearance by the rival defence. They doubled the advantage as Giannis converted a penalty awarded after Al Ahli’s Mohamed al-Abbasi fouled him.
The Brigadiers tried hard, particularly with Hernan Perez and Nabil El Zhar making attempts at the rival goal. However, they were unsuccessful with the exception of an own goal scored by Dos Santos, who accidentally placed the ball into his own net as he tried to clear a long cross from the left by Al Ahli’s Ibrahim Majed amid a goalmouth confusion that also involved goalkeeper Baba Djibril and fellow defender Mohamed al-Naimi.
Earlier, a dramatic penalty on the final touch of the match helped Al Gharafa share points with a spirited Al Arabi side following a 1-1 draw at the Qatar SC Stadium.
Mehdi Torabi opened the scoring for Al Arabi in the 11th minute, but right at the end of the clash, Jonathan Kodjia (90+7) converted a penalty to seal a hard-fought draw for Al Gharafa. Al Gharafa and Al Arabi are now on 24 and 19 points respectively.
In the fifth minute, Al Arabi’s Ayoub Azzi tried his luck with a powerful shot around 10 yards away from the Al Arabi box. The ball dipped on keeper Yousef Hassan, but narrowly missed the goalpost. Just two minutes later, Al Arabi once again came close to scoring, but the Al Gharafa keeper recovered quickly to collect the ball he had dropped on a long cross. Al Arabi’s Mohamed Salah El Neel attempted to tap the loose ball into the net, but keeper Ali showed quick reflexes to collect the ball.
Al Arabi’s Sebastian Soria also got into the act in the 11th minute when he headed the ball off a long throw in, but the ball narrowly went past the left goalpost. Seconds later, Al Arabi opened the scoring.
After receiving a cross, Mehrdad Mohammadi fired a shot towards the goal that was blocked, but the ball fumbled out of the goalkeeper’s hands and Torabi quickly tapped the ball into the net.
Kodjia found time and space to drill a shot towards far right of Al Arabi keeper Mahmoud Abunada in the 26th minute. Al Arabi’s Aron Gunnarsson, however, showed instinctive sharpness to thrust his left leg to deflect the ball away inches from the goalline.
The ever-busy Gunnarsson delivered a clean cross to El Neel in the 37th minute just outside the Al Gharafa box, but the latter misfired. In the 57th minute, Mehrdad drilled a left-footed shot from outside the Al Gharafa box, but his shot was caught by the rival goalkeeper. El Neel soon produced a similar attacking shot that was saved by the keeper. In the 70th minute, Soria, who had an outstanding game, sneaked into the Al Gharafa box, but his flick from close range was blocked by the keeper with his chest.
In a dramatic end to the match, Al Gharafa pulled off the equaliser through a penalty kick. Al Arabi substitute Jassem Jaber brought down Amro Seraj inside the box and referee Abdulla Ali Athba sought VAR replays to make the penalty decision.
Kodjia delivered a perfect penalty kick that crashed into the net though the goalkeeper dived correctly to his right. The Al Arabi fans walked off dejectedly after the tensed penalty kick.
In an earlier match yesterday, Umm Salal and Al Wakrah played out a goalless draw with both teams staying at 14 points. Both teams produced chances but failed to convert it.
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