Al Ahli beat Umm Salal 3-1 in Week 12 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Ahli Stadium on Sunday.
Sofiane Hanni scored a brace for the winners, striking once in each half (31st and 71st minutes) after Mohammed Hossein Kanaani had opened The Brigadiers’ scoring in the 29th minute (penalty).
Umm Salal had surged ahead as early as the seventh minute through Jonathan Kodjia’s goal.
The Orange Fortress were dealt with a blow in the 69th minute when Adbelrahman Raafat was shown the red card after he handled the ball while taking an evasive action to a free-kick ball.
While Umm Salal made a rollicking start, with the duo of Valentino Yuel and Kodjia combining effectively to produce a fine goal. While Yuel sent in a flying cross, Kodjia was alert to make a dipping dive from the right to head the ball into the goal as Abulrahmman Al Rashidi failed to connect.
Their joy was, however, shortlived as Umm Salal soon received a penalty following a VAR check after Al Ahli’s Yazan Al Naimat was fouled, with goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar going for the ball.
Kanaani made no mistake from the spot to level the scores.
Hanni then put Al Ahli ahead with a superb goal from the top of the box, beating two defenders and the goalkeeper.
Al Ahli consolidated their 2-1 lead midway through the second half. Just as Umm Salal were ruing the loss of Raafat, Hanni latched on to a clearance ball to produce another fine goal - almost an encore of his first. Moving through from the left, he went to the top of the box to send in a rasping kick to the right corner of the goal which beat the goalkeeper.
The blow further dented Umm Salal’s hopes, who were also unlucky at times. A Kodjia attempt from inside the ‘D’ beat Al Ahli goalkeeper Yazan Naim, but the ball went just wide of the left post.
The victory saw Al Ahli move on to 17 points from 11 matches.
Umm Salal stayed on seven points from 10 games.