QNB Stars League Week 15 - Al Kharaitiyat 1 Al Gharafa 2


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Al Gharafa rallied from a goal down to beat Al Kharaitiyat 2-1 in Week 15 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League at the Al Ahli Stadium on Wednesday.

After a goalless first half, the match picked up frantic pace in the second as Al Gharafa dominated proceedings with relentless attacks.

After Mensah Evans put Al Kharaitiyat ahead in the 70th minute, Al Gharafa captain Moiad Hassan (77th and 79th minutes) scored two goals in quick succession to give his side their eighth win of the season.

Al Gharafa have 27 points while bottom-placed Al Kharaitiyat remained on six points.

Al Gharafa underlined their intentions from the word go. In the fifth minute, Jonathan Kodjia produced the first attack on Al Kharaitiyat. The tall Ivory Coast striker launched a tracer bullet along the pitch from the edge of the box, but Al Kharaitiyat keeper Shehab Ellethy dived to his left to block the move.

Al Gharafa continued with their attacking momentum. In the 19th minute, Sofiane Hanni picked out Ahmed Al Janehi with a clever lob from the edge of the box. Al Janehi volleyed on first attempt, but his deflection bounced back after hitting the Al Kharaitiyat crossbar.

Six minutes later, Rachid Tiberkanine of Al Kharaitiyat sneaked into the Al Gharafa box but his shot from close range was blocked by Tameem Al Muhaza. Kodija upped the ante with another solo move in the 36th minute but his shot from inside the box after a short dribble was blocked by Oumar Sako.

Four minutes into the half, Al Gharafa’s Yousef Muftah made another attempt, this time from close after receiving a short pass from Ahmed Al Janehi, but his shot was slightly off the mark as Al Kharaitiya managed to keep the scoresheet clean.

Kodija, in the 57th minute, produced a spectacular volley on a corner kick but his shot was smartly saved by keeper Mamdouh Ellethy. In another Al Gharafa attack, just two minutes on, Moiad Hassan slipped in a cross for Othman Al Yahri who fired on first attempt but his shot narrowly missed a goalpost.

A bit of drama unfolded in the 64th minute. Saeed Al Hajj brought down Mohammed Osman Nawaf close to Al Gharafa box. The referee initially flashed a yellow card but reversed it to a red after a VAR referral. Al Kharaitiyat failed to score from the direct free-kick.

In the 70th minute, Majed Aman picked out Evans Mensah with a neat lob from the centre. Evans charged into the box and fired a shot that caught a slight deflection of a dive by Al Muhaza and went into the net giving the keeper no chance to stop the ball.

Al Kharaitiyat’s euphoria was shortlived as Al Gharafa captain Moiad Hassan curled in a David Beckham-like free-kick to score the equaliser in the 77th. Two minutes later, Hassan volleyed home from inside the box after a cross by Yousef Muftah to give Al Gharafa the lead.