Al Gharafa beat Al Ahli 1-0 through a late goal in Week 2 of the 2021-2022 season QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Friday.
Sofiane Hanni (85th-minute penalty) netted the winner as Al Gharafa registered their second successive victory, having beaten Al Shamal 2-0 in their opener.
Al Ahli had played out a goalless draw with Qatar SC.
Both teams adopted a cautious approach from the start even though Al Gharafa had more possession in both halves.
Al Gharafa attacked more through the wings, forcing five corner kicks as against Al Ahli’s one in the first half.
Al Gharafa’s Homam Al Ameen came up with a thumping long-ranger in the 13th minute, only to be thwarted by Al Ahli goalkeeper Ivanildo Rodrigues with a superb dive.
Before long, Al Ahli’s Hernan Perez had a chance, but Al Gharafa defender Almahdi Ali cleared the ball, conceding a corner, before the former could take aim at the goal.
In the 39th minute, Al Gharafa captain Moyad Hassan’s shot was deflected out by rival defender Ibrahim Majed.
During the half, Al Gharafa’s Ahmed Alaaeldin could not connect a Sofiane Hanni pass from the right in front of the goal.
Al Gharafa started the second half on attack mode and Ahmed Al Janehi had a snap shot from close range sail over the bar in the 54th minute.
Al Ahli had a goal disallowed in the 66th minute scored by Ali Qaderi, who had just come in as a substitute. The Brigadiers’ regular captain this season got possession of the ball in between an exchange between Al Gharafa goalkeeper Yousef Hassan and Almahdi. But referee Yousef Al Sharshani ruled it out after referring to VAR as Al Ahli substitute Naveed Mohammed had fouled Almahdi in the process.
As the match headed for a draw came the decisive moment. Al Ahli’s Naveed tripped Homam in front of the goal and Sofiane was bang on target from the penalty spot.
Al Ahli made some last-ditch efforts to score, in vain.