Al Arabi defeated 10-man Qatar SC 2-0 in Week 1 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Education City Stadium on Tuesday.
Ahmed Fathi (70 minute) and substitute Ibrahim Nasser Kalla (90th minute) scored the goals for Al Arabi, fetching them three valuable points in their opening clash of the league.
Qatar SC suffered a setback when their captain Sebastian Soria was shown the red card by referee Salman Falahi in the 59th minute of the match. Soria, while trying to charge with the ball, had brought down Ahmed Fathi who was running alongside.
Soria was earlier cautioned with a yellow card in the 16th minute after fouling against rival captain Abdulla Al Marafi.
After a goalless first half and Soria’s departure in the second, Al Arabi who had failed to make good of a few chances gained momentum. Their star winger Yousef Msakni had a chance to score in the 67th minute but failed to get hold of the ball, from a pass from forward Aaron Boupendza, when in front of the goal.
Eventually Al Arabi scored the first goal in the 70th minute when Msakni set up a pass inside the box for Ahmed Fathi to score off a deflection from rival goalkeeper Sataa Al Abbassi, who till then had done a good job under the bar.
An alert Ahmed Fathi latched on to the ball after Aaron’s kick from the right bounced off the goalkeeper’s hands.
The lead for Al Arabi saw the game slow down somewhat before Kalla produced a super shot in the 90th minute. It was a thrilling strike as Kalla, running in from the right, swung into action straightaway and when inside the penalty area was given a superb back heel pass by Hassan. Kalla shot it perfectly and into the goal.
Earlier in the 24th minute, Msakni and Qatar SC’s Khaled Mahmoudi were involved in an unfortunate head collision while going for the ball. Both players were immediately attended to by the medical teams and were back in action.