Al Gharafa, Umm Salal in fight for domination


Both Al Gharafa and Umm Salal will be eyeing nothing less than full points when they clash in Week 5 of the QNB Stars League. The kick-off is at 18:00 at the Al Arabi Stadium on Friday, 14th September.

Al Gharafa are sixth in the standings with seven points and Umm Salal are close behind them on four points.

Al Gharafa started off the 2018-19 season on a losing note after suffering a 1-3 defeat to Qatar SC. But they recovered to beat Al Sailiya (2-1) and Al Ahli (4-0). In between, The Cheetahs held formidable Al Sadd to a 1-1 draw.

Umm Salal have only one victory (4-1 over Al Ahli) to their credit. They succeeded in holding Al Rayyan to a 1-1 draw, but lost to Al Sailiya (1-2) and Al Arabi (1-5).

Both sides are under the tutelage of French coaches since the start of this season.

Christian Gourcuff replaced Turk Bulent Uygun at Al Gharafa, while Laurent Banide came to Umm Salal in place of ex-Moroccan international Talal El Karkouri, who had also played for The Orange Fortress.

In the QSL Cup first round played during the international break last week, Al Gharafa were held 1-1 by Qatar SC, while Umm Salal defeated Al Arabi 1-0.

They had mixed luck in Week 4 of the QNB Stars League. While Al Gharafa had it easy over Al Ahli (4-0), Umm Salal lost big-time to Al Arabi (1-5).

It may be recalled that Al Gharafa had pipped Umm Salal to the fifth position last season in the last round and thus qualified for the Qatar Cup.

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