QNB Stars League Week 1 — Al Shahania 0 Al Duhail 3


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Champions Al Duhail survived a first-half scare by promoted side Al Shahania before registering a comfortable 3-0 win in Week 1 of the QNB Stars League at the Khalifa International Stadium on Sunday.

Last two seasons’ top scorer Yousef El Arabi (59th and 72nd minutes) and Nam Tae-Hee (63rd) scored the goals.

Al Shahania put up a gutsy fight on their return to the top flight, only to fade away in the second half. They played with 10 men after Nadir Awadh received his marching orders from referee Salman Falahi for fouling Ismail Mohammed in the 52nd minute.

That largely affected Spanish coach Jose Murcia’s game plan and they completely lost the plot. 

Both teams missed a penalty each. While El Arabi’s shot was blocked by Al Shahania goalkeeper Khalifa Al Dossari in the 37th minute, Kesse Jean cracked his kick against the crossbar before the first session ended.

That Al Duhail had 68 per cent ball possession spoke about their domination. Thus, new coach Nabil Maaloul, who replaced Djamel Belmadi, had something to cheer as they had lost to Al Rayyan on penalties in the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup.

South Korean playmaker Nam caught the eye the most for his precise passes and darting runs. He gave the cross for El Arabi’s opening goal before he himself got on to the score sheet with a header off a cross from Edmilson.

El Arabi's second goal was a solo effort.

Al Shahania’s Younes Yaghoub made a goalline save at the stroke of full-time whistle to control some damage.