QNB Stars League Week 11 Match Report — Qatar SC 1 Al Gharafa 1


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Hosts Qatar SC and Al Gharafa played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their QNB Stars League Week 11 match on Friday.

Captain Luis Jimenez put Al Gharafa ahead with a penalty in the 34th minute, an advantage nullified by Qatar SC’s substitute striker Mahamadou Bezannier in the 83rd. 

Al Gharafa took their points tally to 11 and Qatar SC eight.

Both Al Gharafa and Qatar SC were coming off victories, against Al Arabi and Al Kharaitiyat respectively. It was also the second match for The Kings under Qatari coach Abdullah Mubarak, who replaced Argentinian Gabriel Calderon.

The game started off on a slow pace, with both sides taking time to settle down. 

After 10 minutes, Ahmed Alaaeldin, the live wire in Al Gharafa ranks, made the action live by sending a screamer over the bar and outstretched hands of Qatar SC goalkeeper Jassim Al Hail.

There was a quick reaction at the other end, but Al Gharafa custodian Yousuf Hassan blocked Fahad Khalfan’s shot.

The Cheetahs gradually had more of the ball and forced a few corners. Captain Luis Jimenez pulled the strings from the middle as Alaaeldin, Othman Al Yahri and Amro Seraj made forays into the rival box.

And one such move paid off as referee Salman Falahi did not hesitate for a moment to point to the spot after Qatar SC’s Ibrahim Jamal handled Othman’s shot well inside the box. Jimenez stepped in and converted the resultant penalty, leaving Jassim rooted to his position.

Qatar SC came back from the breather with a couple of substitutions. Bezannier and Yousuf Mohammed took the field, and the former immediately created panic in the opposition camp by coming up with a shot that went inches wide even though he was in an offside position.

Bezannier was tightly marked by Fahad Al Shammari though he made inroads into the rival area. And one of them resulted in a head injury to Al Gharafa defender Robert Fasciano, who played the remaining 20 minutes with a bandage on his head following a mid-air collision with Bezannier.

Qatar SC made another substitution in their bid for an equaliser, Ali Al Mohannadi coming in for Khaled Mahmoudi. But it was Al Gharafa who created another chance, off a counter-attack, even as the hosts pushed hard. An unmarked Othman cracked against the horizontal.

However, Qatar SC were not to be denied as Bezannier helped them draw parity, neatly heading in a long lob by captain Mohammed Salem after evading the challenge from rival defender Almahdi Ali.