QNB Stars League Week 14 – Al Gharafa 1 Al Arabi 1
A dramatic penalty on the final touch of the match helped Al Gharafa share points with a spirited Al Arabi side following a 1-1 draw in Week 14 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League at the Qatar SC Stadium on Wednesday.
Mehdi Torabi opened the scoring for Al Arabi in the 11th minute, but right at the end of the clash, Jonathan Kodjia (90+7) converted a penalty to seal a hard-fought draw for Al Gharafa.
Al Gharafa and Al Arabi are now on 24 and 19 points respectively.
In the fifth minute, Al Arabi’s Ayoub Azzi tried his luck with a powerful shot around 10 yards away from the Al Arabi box. The ball dipped on keeper Yousef Hassan, but narrowly missed the goalpost.
Just two minutes later, Al Arabi once again came close to scoring, but the Al Gharafa keeper recovered quickly to collect the ball he had dropped on a long cross. Al Arabi’s Mohammed Salah El Neel attempted to tap the loose ball into the net, but keeper Ali showed quick reflexes to collect the ball.
Al Arabi’s Sebastian Soria also got into the act in the 11th minute when he headed the ball off a long throw in, but the ball narrowly went past the left goalpost.
Seconds later, Al Arabi opened the scoring.
After receiving a cross, Mehrdad Mohammadi fired a shot towards the goal that was blocked, but the ball fumbled out of the goalkeeper’s hands and Torabi quickly tapped the ball into the net.
Kodjia found time and space to drill a shot towards far right of Al Arabi keeper Mahmoud Abunada in the 26th minute. Al Arabi’s Aron Gunnarsson, however, showed instinctive sharpness to thrust his left leg to deflect the ball away inches from the goalline.
The ever-busy Gunnarsson delivered a clean cross to El Neel in the 37th minute just outside the Al Gharafa box, but the latter misfired.
In the 57th minute, Mehrdad drilled a left-footed shot from outside the Al Gharafa box, but his shot was caught by the rival goalkeeper.
El Neel soon produced a similar attacking shot that was saved by the keeper.
In the 70th minute, Soria, who had an outstanding game, sneaked into the Al Gharafa box, but his flick from close range was blocked by the keeper with his chest.
In a dramatic end to the match, Al Gharafa pulled off the equaliser through a penalty kick. Al Arabi substitute Jassem Jaber brought down Amro Seraj inside the box and referee Abdulla Ali Athba sought VAR replays to make the penalty decision.
Kodjia delivered a perfect penalty kick that crashed into the net though the goalkeeper dived correctly to his right. The Al Arabi fans walked off dejectedly after the tensed penalty kick.
Al Gharafa had beaten Al Arabi 2-1 in the first leg of 2020-21 season QNB Stars League.