Al Duhail were held to a 1-1 draw by Qatar SC in Week 11 of the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium of Al Duhail club on Saturday.
Essa Ahmed grabbed the equaliser for Qatar SC in the 80th minute after Suhaib Gannan had given The Red Knights the lead in the 19th minute of play.
With the result, Al Duhail, who have two matches pending, now have 17 points, while Qatar SC are on 12 points.
Qatar SC were very much determined to prove their worth right from the start of the match and they were clearly the better side for much of the early minutes of the game, with them having two good attempts at goal within the first six minutes.
Al Duhail, on the other hand, had to wait until the 18th minute when Almoez Ali had the chance to test Qatar SC’s goalkeeper Sataa Al Abbasi with a left-footed shot from a Kim Moon-Hwan assist that was well saved by The Kings shot stopper.
Al Duhail’s denial at goal only lasted 37 seconds after their first attempt, as Gannan was in the right place at the right time to convert a rebound from Almoez Ali’s shot following a fast counter-attack to give The Red Knights the opening goal in the 19th minute.
Seven minutes later, Qatar SC’s Ben Malango had a good opportunity to restore parity for his club, but his header from very close range from Bruno Tabata’s cross was just inches higher than expected.
Al Duhail also had a couple of chances that were not converted and the scoreline remained in Al Duhail’s favour as the first-half proceedings came to an end.
The second half began with Qatar SC’s desperate search for the much-needed equaliser and Tabata was very close to giving them the anticipated relief within a minute of resumption when Al Duhail goalkeeper Salah Zakaria did not read the flow of play well enough to save the stunner from the Brazilian.
Al Duhail were reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute after South Korean right-back Kim got the matching orders after being flashed the second yellow card for a tackle on Qatar SC’s Malango.
With a one-man advantage, Qatar SC seized the opportunity as they became more ferocious in attack while putting their opponents on the backfoot.
Their determination eventually paid off in the 80th minute, with Essa Ahmed grabbing the equaliser with a sublime deceptive back-heel following a well-timed pass by Abdullah Abdulsalam.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of Al Duhail’s sail as they thereafter could not muster the necessary courage to attack like before while a resurgent Qatar SC kept up their pressure, albeit without converting any of their chances as the referee closed up the enthralling encounter.