Al Gharafa and Al Wakrah played out a 1-1 draw in Week 2 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.
Both teams got a point each and continued to remain unbeaten. While Al Wakrah had won against Al Duhail in their opening-round match, Al Gharafa had beaten Al Sailiya.
Uzbek star Islom Tukhtakhujaev scored for Al Gharafa in the 39th minute while Al Wakrah’s Angolan forward Gelson Dala equalised in the 48th minute.
Slow to begin with, the match picked up exciting pace after the first 10 minutes. In the 14th minute, Gelson Dala made Al Wakrah's first move but his charge was offset by onrushing Al Gharafa goalkeeper Qasem Burhan.
Within minutes, Al Gharafa swung the action on the other side of the field with Muyed Hassan making an attempt with a header, but could not get a good hold of it.
In the 35th minute, Dala received a yellow card which slowed down Al Wakrah somewhat and seizing the chance, Al Gharafa star Yacine Brahimi swung into action with his attacking midfield play.
Brahimi's class was on display when his kick from a set-piece sailed inside the box and the ball fell precisely between two Al Gharafa players to roll off Almahdi Ali's knee for a waiting Islom to strike. Islom’s left kick beat the goalkeeper in a big way.
Al Gharafa had another great chance in the 42nd minute when Saifeldeen Fadlalla's powerful kick from almost 25 yards went straight to hit the crossbar and to safety.
The equaliser for Al Wakrah came when Dala, fed with a ball on the left, broke into the penalty area to beat two Al Gharafa players to score.
Thereon, both teams made many efforts but the deadlock remained. A close chance came Al Wakrah's way in the 75th minute when substitute Ismail Mahmoud’s shot went inches off the goal post on the right.