Ooredoo Cup Round 1 - Al Duhail 2 Al Gharafa 2
Al Duhail fought back from two goals down to snatch a well-earned 2-2 draw against Al Gharafa in a 2019-20 season Ooredoo Cup Round 1, Group B match at the Al Ahli Stadium on Saturday.
Al Gharafa’s goals came from Mohammed Ramadan in the 38th minute and Abdulghani Muneer in the 54th minute, while Al Duhail’s both goals were scored by Mohamed Muntari in the 66th (penalty) and 87th minutes.
An open-ended match saw Al Gharafa start quickest with two very early chances for Mohammed Ramadan and Abdulghani Muneer, both forcing fine saves from Ahmed Rashwan between the post for Al Duhail.
The action soon switched to the other end of the field when Al Gharafa goalkeeper Salah Mousa first saved from a fine backheel before denying Khalid Mansour as he deflected his shot onto the post. Mousa was then on hand to deny Rabeh Boussafi before going off injured with an apparent muscle injury.
The game’s opening goal came as the half drew to a close with a very well executed counter-attack. Latching onto a through ball on the left, Muneer advanced forward past a sparse opposition defence before squaring the ball to Mohammed Ramadan, who finished under minimal pressure.
Into the second half and Al Gharafa, still on the front foot, extended their lead, thanks to the quick thinking of Muneer. Winning a free-kick outside the penalty area on the right, he shaped his body for an in-swinging cross, but smartly curled the ball into the near corner of the goal with the goalkeeper unable to react in time.
With a seemingly unassailable lead, Al Gharafa let their opponents back into the game with a penalty when Ali Al Amri accidentally handled a cross from Khalid Mansour. Mohammed Muntari stepped up and, using his experience, calmly slotted home.
The comeback was completed in the final minutes as Muntari was once again in the right position to pounce on a cross from close range and equal the score.
He was nearly able to grab a winner right at the end. However, his well-placed shot was blocked when it looked certain to be a goal and the match finished all square.