QNB Stars League Week 14 — Umm Salal 1 Al Ahli 1
Al Ahli fought back to hold Umm Salal to a 1-1 draw in Week 14 of the QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium, where the latter play their home matches, on Saturday.
Ivorian striker Yannick Sagbo gave Umm Salal the advantage in the 25th minute that was neutralised by Tunisian attacking midfielder Yassine Chikhaoui in the 88th.
Umm Salal showed more purpose from the start even though the ball possession was precisely equal at the end of first half. The Orange Fortress surged ahead when Sagbo send in a free-kick, awarded for a foul on Tunisian attacking midfielder Oussama Darragi, over the defensive wall.
Three minutes later, Darragi missed a sitter in front of an open goal after being fed by Mahmous Mawas, who caught the eye with his darting runs.
The deficit shook the Al Ahli ranks and their midfield livewire Ali Qadri hit a long-ranger against the right upright past the half-hour mark.
Umm Salal had a goal disallowed in the 40th when Ismail Dahqani’s effort was ruled offside after Sagbo’s header off a corner came back into play off the right upright.
Al Ahli had Chikhaoui, back from a one-match injury layoff, pulling strings in the midfield, while they missed the services of striker Mohammed Muntari due to an injury.
Al Ahli earned a penalty in the 55th when Chikhaoui was brought down by Dahqani, who was sent off following a second yellow by referee Salman Falahi. And Meshaal Abdullah skied the resultant penalty.
After making many attempts, Chikhaoui finally saved Al Ahli’s blushes with an on-the-turn shot from the edge of the big box that had brilliance written all over it.
Al Ahli too were reduced to 10 men as Fadhl Omar saw red for violent play.