QNB Stars League Week 2 - Al Gharafa 1 Al Rayyan 3
Al Rayyan tasted their first victory in the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League by defeating Al Gharafa 3-1 in Week 2 at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Monday.
Johan Boli and Yacine Brahimi were the scorers and heroes of Al Rayyan, who had dropped two points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Al Sailiya in their opener.
Boli scored in the 25th and 71st minutes, and Brahimi’s goal came very late in the match (90+3).
Jonathan Kodjia scored Al Gharafa’s goal in the 90th minute.
The encounter between last season’s top-two teams, the heavyweight clash of Week 2 featuring two clubs with rich history as well as tradition besides many titles and honours to their credit, was fought keenly. Al Gharafa had more of the ball (55 per cent), while Al Rayyan created more opportunities and understandably had the last laugh.
Al Gharafa had finished a creditable fourth in the 2019-20 season, behind champions Al Duhail, Al Rayyan and Al Sadd in that order, whereas Al Rayyan ended up as runners-up, just one point behind Al Duhail.
Al Gharafa, who were on a high after beating Qatar SC 2-0 in their opener, found the going tough on their home turf.
Brahimi, as always, was the livewire in Al Rayyan ranks, while Boli was in outstanding form.
Boli was assisted by Franck Kom for his first goal and Brahimi did the spadework for the second.
Boli had a goal ruled offside by VAR just before he scored a second time.
Kodjia was on target when he slammed home first-time a cross by Othman Al Yahri.
Brahimi himself was on target with a solo effort in stoppage time as he dodged past Al Gharafa’s Mostafa Kadira, Hector Moreno and Yousef Muftah with sheer brilliance before beating goalkeeper Qasim Burhan.