QNB Stars League Round 4 - Umm Salal 4 Al Arabi 1
Umm Salal continued their fine form with a disciplined 4-1 victory over Al Arabi at the Al Gharafa Stadium that took them top of the QNB Stars League after Saturday’s fixtures, thanks to an inspired performance from Ivorian Yannick Sagbo.
It took Sagbo only seven minutes to get on the score sheet as he reacted quickly to snatch the rebound from a blocked shot and score from close range. While Al Arabi dominated much of the possession, it was again Sagbo, who grabbed the second in similar fashion when he first controlled the ball with his knee, before turning and putting it into the net from six yards out.
Into the second half and The Orange Fortress soon further increased their lead. This time, Mahmoud Al Mawas ran the length of the opposition half before squaring the ball to Sagbo, who composed himself before firing an unstoppable shot from 20 yards into the top left corner.
It was very much game over by this point and, in the 75th minute, Moroccan defender Adil Rhaili found himself unmarked in an advanced position to head home from close range. Al Arabi were able to get one back as Mardek Mardikian struck from distance, but it was too little, too late for The Dream Team who remain firmly in the bottom half of the table.
Umm Salal were happy to sit back and absorb pressure tonight, but their decisiveness in front of goal, mixed with a tight back line will make their next opponents, title rivals Al Duhail, stand up and take notice.
Meanwhile, Al Arabi’s fortune will have to change next week when they host heavyweights Al Sadd.