QNB Stars League Round 5 Match Report - Al Duhail 4 Umm Salal 1

Red Knights stay on top with impressive win

A double by star striker Youssef El Arabi powered Al Duhail to a 4-1 win over Umm Salal at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday.

El Arabi (39th and 68th-minute penalty) now has a tally of 10 goals after just five rounds in the QNB Stars League. Nam Tae-Hee (sixth) and Youssef Msakni (70th) were the other scorers. 

Substitute Bazman Khoubiari pulled one back for Umm Salal in the 87th minute. 

Al Duhail, who secured their fifth consecutive victory, kept their leaders’ position on better goal difference than Al Sadd, who too have the same number of points (15).

Al Duhail were quick off the blocks when South Korean star Nam flicked one from inside the Umm Salal box and beat the goalkeeper. It was a welcome sight for their coach Djamel Belmadi, who returned after missing two league games because of suspension. 

Umm Salal, coached by Mahmoud Jaber, produced a string of attacks in the following minutes, but were denied by Al Duhail goalkeeper Khalifa Abubacar. 

However, Al Duhail’s mercurial Moroccan striker El Arabi fired his ninth league goal of the season when he deflected a neat cross from Ali Hassan past Umm Salal goalkeeper Basel Zaidan.

Al Duhail went into the half-time break, knowing they enjoyed 60 per cent of ball possession in the fast-paced first half.

Al Duhail continued their domination in the second session and El Arabi then easily converted a penalty kick. A couple of minutes later, he chipped in a neat cross to Msakni, who fired home from close.

Al Duhail next face Al Gharafa, while Umm Salal will be up against Al Khor.