Al Gharafa bounced back from an early deficit to beat Al Sailiya 2-1 in Week 12 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Ahli Stadium on Sunday.
After Moroccan professional Ismail Khafi took Al Sailiya ahead in the 10th minute, Al Gharafa struck back through goals from Mehdi Tahrat (46th minute) and Farid Boulaya (78th minute).
With this victory, Al Gharafa moved on to 16 points and thus put an end to a series of negative results. It was The Cheetahs’ first victory under Portuguese coach Pedro Martins.
Al Sailiya remained on four points in the last place after suffering their ninth defeat.
At the start, Al Sailiya went with all force in search of a victory that would put them back on the right track at the start of second leg of the league. Their new professional player Khafi indeed succeeded in helping them take the lead after a long ball played by goalkeeper Abdulrahman Mohammed. After snatching the ball from Mohammed Ali who fell, the Al Sailiya striker found the net.
The second half too witnessed dangerous moves, especially by Al Gharafa who pressed hard through the flanks and penetrated from the depths to score the equalizer.
Mehdi scored following a ball played by Yacine Brahimi.
In the 63rd minute, Ishak Belfodil missed an opportunity to score off a perfect cross by Brahimi.
Al Gharafa players continued to miss opportunities and this time it was Ahmed Alaaeldin, who was denied by the post in the 68th minute after he dodged three defenders inside the penalty area and hit the ball.
Brahimi kept making attempts at the goal and one such move paid off for Al Gharafa. The Algerian passed the ball inside the penalty area to Moayad Hassan who, in turn, set up Boulaya who fired it in.