Umm Salal and Al Arabi played out a goalless draw in Round 5 (Group A) of the 2023-2024 season Ooredoo Cup at the Al Khor Stadium on Saturday.
Umm Salal thus finished their group engagements with 11 points on top of the group, while Al Arabi ended up with eight points and in third place.
Second-placed Al Ahli (10 points) and fourth-placed Qatar SC (seven points) too made it to the quarterfinals from Group A.
Umm Salal were on the backfoot for most of the early minutes of first half as Al Arabi pressured them for an early goal.
Al Arabi could have got their wishes in the 21st minute had Umm Salal’s Naim Abdulrazaq not read the ball well enough to head it away while it was swaying towards an unmarked Marco Verratti in the 18-yard box from a pinpoint cross from the right.
Umm Salal goalkeeper Samy Beldi, who had been staving off several Al Arabi attacks, was once again called into action in the 35th minute as he brilliantly made a one-hand save from a powerful long-range shot of Abdulrahman Anad to deny them an opener.
Umm Salal had a couple of chances of their own, which they could not convert as the scoreline remained a stalemate at half-time.
Al Arabi’s Abdullah Al Muraisi’s goal in the 63rd minute was chalked off after a VAR review, much to the consternation of The Dream Team’s supporters, who were virtually on their toes throughout the match.
Hossam Kamal had his sublime free-kick in the 70th minute parried for a corner kick by Al Arabi goalkeeper Jassim Al Hail as Umm Salal pushed for the win to maintain their lead on the table.
Despite some late attempts at goals by both teams, they were unable to penetrate each other’s defences as the match ended with the spoils shared and no goals scored.