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Al Arabi and reigning champions Al Sailiya played out a 2-2 draw in Round 1 (Group B) of the 2021-2022 season Ooredoo Cup at the Al Khor Stadium on Sunday.

Mehrdad Mohammadi (38th minute and 53rd-minute penalty) scored both goals for Al Arabi, while new recruit Valentin Adama Diomande (45+3 penalty) and Fahad Khalfan (63rd minute) scored Al Sailiya’s goals.

The opening match of the 2021-2022 season witnessed three penalties and two of them resulted in goals.

Al Arabi had an upper hand early in the game and they surged ahead through Mehrdad, who curled in a free-kick to the left of Al Sailiya goalkeeper Abdrahman Mahamat, who replaced an injured Claude Amine Lecomte.

This was after Abdrahman Mahamat brilliantly stabbed out Mehrdad’s free-kick on the half-hour mark.

Al Sailiya had to wait till the extra time of first half to equalise when referee Ali Abdulrahman Al Marri awarded a penalty after Al Arabi’s substitute Mohammed Ismaeldin tripped Adama and the latter converted from the spot.

Soon after changing ends, Al Arabi regained the lead, this time Mehrdad being on target from the penalty spot following Al Sailiya’s Ali Jassimi’s foul on Ibrahim Nasser Kalla.

Al Arabi earned another penalty in the 60th minute when Ali Jassimi brought down Mehrdad, but Abdulqadir Ilyas hit his shot against the post, denying The Dream Team what would have been a solid lead.

On the other hand, The Peregrines soon equalised, with Fahad Khalfan capitalising on a mistake by Al Arabi goalkeeper Sataa Al Abbasi, who misread a back pass from Mohammed Ismaeldin.

 

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