QNB Stars League Week 13 — Umm Salal 2 Al Gharafa 4
Dutch star Wesley Sneijder scored his first goal for former champions Al Gharafa who fought off a spirited Umm Salal for a 4-2 win in Week 13 of the QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday.
Al Gharafa rarely looked in trouble after goals by Ahmed Alaaeldin (32nd minute), Othman Al Yahiri (45th) and Sneijder (61st).
Umm Salal substitutes Yannick Sagbo (69th) and Ibrahima Nadiya (81st) scored in the second half to raise visions of a draw, but a late strike by Amro Seraj (90+4) sealed the win for Al Gharafa.
It was Al Gharafa’s only fourth win of the season, but second in succession after Sneijder joined them. Umm Salal, despite the fightback, could not add to their five wins in the season.
Al Gharafa jumped ahead, thanks to some quick thinking by Alaaeldin. Fresh from scoring a brace in their previous clash, the forward lunged forward to head home a low cross from Othman on the right flank.
In first-half injury time, Alaaeldin, following a neat dribble near the Umm Salal box, spotted Othman just a few meters away. After intercepting the cross, he charged into the box and then quickly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Baba Malick.
Sneijder scored his first goal for his new employers as he drilled one into the net from the edge of the Umm Salal box following a cross from the flank.
Umm Salal reduced the deficit when Sagbo converted a penalty kick before Nadiya found the net from close after a cross from Mahmoud Kamal.
Seraj flicked an easy ball into an empty net in stoppage time for Al Gharafa's 4th goal.