Umm Salal recorded their first victory of the season after defeating Al Ahli 3-1 in Week 4 of the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League at the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday.
Umm Salal, who have only managed to secure two points from their first three matches having played out draws against Al Arabi and Qatar SC and lost 1-3 to Al Sadd in the first round, got the all-important win, thanks to goals from Oussama Tannane (17th and 65th minutes) and Marouane Louadni (37th minute), while Al Ahli’s consolation goal came off the boots of Naim Sliti (73rd minute).
There seemed to be no change in fortune for The Brigadiers, who had to replace coach Nebojsa Jovovic with Khaled Taj after finding themselves in a precarious position with defeats in all their matches till now. The Orange Fortress were the latest to pile more woes on them.
Tannane gave the fans a taste of what to expect from Umm Salal with just four minutes of play after his left-footed shot from the centre of the box was narrowly saved by goalkeeper Yazan Naim.
The Moroccan player, however, could not be denied for too long as he opened the scoring for his side in the 17th minute with a right-footed shot from outside the box that went flying into the bottom left corner of Al Ahli’s goal. The superb goal was assisted by Kenji Gorre.
Louadni made it two for his side in the 37th minute. The 28-year-old defender had found himself unmarked in the box following a corner kick and his subsequent right-footed shot from close range was too much for goalkeeper Naim to handle as the ball located in the top right corner.
Tannane got his brace and his team’s third goal with a right-footed shot from outside the box, which located in the bottom left corner of the goal, off an Andy Delort assist.
Al Ahli got a leg back in the game through Sliti, with the Tunisian finding himself in a good position in Umm Salal’s 18-yard box following a corner kick. His left-footed shot from the left side of the box sailed in effortlessly to give his team faint hope of a comeback.
Tried as much as Al Ahli did, especially in the dying minutes of the almost one-sided encounter, Umm Salal held on to their two-goal advantage.