QNB Stars League Week 1 — Al Arabi 1 Al Khor 0
Al Arabi kicked off the new QNB Stars League season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Al Khor at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Al Khor started off with quick moves, but it was Al Arabi who scored the only goal in the 22nd minute through new recruit Franco Arizala, with the Colombian striker heading home from close range.
Al Khor’s Salem Khalifa produced a powerful shot from inside the rival box in the very first minute, but the ball bounced off the goalpost. Four minutes later, another attempt at goal by Tunisian Adel Sellimi’s boys went waste.
Al Khor’s Brazilian striker Diego da Silva then produced a snap-header from close range, but the ball hit the far goalpost and bounced back into play without causing any anguish for Al Arabi backline.
After Al Arabi’s Brazilian forward Diego Jardel curled in a well-taken free-kick that was palmed away by Al Khor goalkeeper for a corner, well-built Franco gave a spectacular finish to an indirect corner kick by sending in a loopy cross into the rival net.
It was effectively the new season’s first goal by any player or team.
In the 57th minute, Franco hoodwinked three Al Khor defenders before charging into the box, only to see his carefully-placed shot narrowly miss the post.
Towards the end, Al Khor’s Ahmed Hassan stepped on Al Arabi goalkeeper Mazoud Zeraei’s knee to cause a short stoppage in play.
Al Arabi next face Al Sadd on 12th August, as Al Khor run into holders Al Duhail the previous day.