Al Ahli and Al Shamal were locked in a 2-2 draw in Round 1 (Group A) of the 2021-2022 season Ooredoo Cup at the Al Wakrah Stadium on Monday.
Navid Mohammed (45th minute) and substitute Marko Jevtovic (87th minute) scored Al Ahli’s goals.
New recruit Jeison Medina (27th minute) and substitute Ali Awad Bujaloof (55th minute) scored for Al Shamal, who made their comeback into the First Division after a gap of six seasons. They won the Second Division League last season (2020-2021) to qualify for the top flight.
Both teams fought hard from the onset. Al Shamal had more of the ball at the end of the first half though the half-time score read 1-1.
Colombian striker Jeison, who recently joined Al Shamal, put his team ahead with a brilliant effort, beating the challenge from a defender and goalkeeper Ivanildo Rodriguez. Jeison in fact took advantage of a good work done by their midfield.
Al Ahli were not to give up and they drew parity at the end of half-time through Navid following a quick counter-attack.
Al Ahli and Al Shamal made a spate of substitutions in the second session.
Ali Awad put Al Shamal ahead for a second time 10 minutes after resumption, but Al Ahli’s concerted efforts gave them a second equaliser late into the game through Jevtovic, who is also a new recruit. The goal came as Al Shamal went into a defensive mode, hoping to defend the lead and thereby collect full points.
Al Rayyan, Al Wakrah and Umm Salal are the other teams in Group A of the tournament.