QNB Stars League Week 16 — Al Gharafa 1 Al Duhail 5


Al Duhail showed no let-up in their march to the title as they defeated hosts Al Gharafa 5-1 in Week 16 of the QNB Stars League on Thursday.

Captain Youssef Msakni (19th and 52nd minutes), Youssef El Arabi (23rd-min penalty) and Almoez Ali (56th and 88th) scored for Al Duhail.

Ahmed Alaaeldin pulled one back for a 10-man Al Gharafa in the 41st.

Al Duhail were, as always, in tremendous form and launched raid after raid into the the rival territory, giving a harrowing time to the Al Gharafa defence.

Msakni opened the scoring, his 15th goal this season, after receiving a pass from El Arabi. The Red Knights, the only unbeaten side so far, doubled the lead through El Arabi, who converted a penalty, awarded after Msakni was tripped in the area by Fahad Al Shammari.

El Arabi, the top scorer in the competition with 21 goals after this match, had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Yousef Hassan.

Al Gharafa were reduced to 10 men soon after the start of second half when defender Fahad received his second yellow card following a foul on Murad Naji.

The Cheetahs then brought in Dutch midfield great Wesley Sneijder and Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi, who were rested in view of their AFC Champions League match against Al Jazira on 12th February, but to no avail.

Alaaeldin reduced the margin capitalising on confusion among the Al Duhail defenders.

Msakni was at it again and this one was a brilliant effort from a tight angle from the left after a Karim Boudiaf through pass.

Almoez, back after helping Qatar finish third at the recent Asian Under-23 Championship in China where he also emerged as the top scorer with six goals, then came up with a two-goal effort, the first which was a header near the hour mark off a cross from Ismail Mohammed and then towards the end, with substitute Nam Tae-Hee doing the spadework.

Understandably, Al Duhail had 58 per cent of possession and they moved to 42 points, while Al Gharafa stayed on 20.