QNB Stars League Week 20 – Al Arabi 2 Al Duhail 3
Al Duhail defeated Al Arabi 3-2 in Week 20 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.
Mohammed Musa (35th minute), Michael Olunga (44th-minute penalty) and Paulo Edmilson (54th minute) scored the goals for Al Duhail, while Abdulaziz Al Ansari (29th minute) and Yousef Msakni (40th minute) scored for Al Arabi.
Edmilson was shown the red card in 90+1 minutes for a foul on Al Arabi’s substitute player Ibrahim Kalla, followed by a yellow card to Al Duhail coach Sabri Lamouchi.
Al Duhail consolidated their second place with 43 points from 14 wins and a draw. Al Arabi stayed on 26 points.
The Red Knights started the match strongly, storming into Al Arabi’s area in the first minute. They were in control of the match hardly giving the ball away to The Dream Team.
Al Arabi were lucky to avoid an early goal as Edmilson’s right-footed strike from near the penalty spot in the 13th minute hit the crossbar. Another Edmilson attempt from almost the same area went wide as Al Duhail were pushing hard for the opening goal.
Al Arabi’s Al Ansari produced a brilliant display following a corner kick, beating two defenders in the left to put the ball past Al Duhail goalkeeper Salah Zakaria for the game’s opening goal.
The Red Knights, however, levelled the score from a superb rising header from Musa off a corner kick six minutes later.
But Al Arabi regrouped well and regained the lead, with Msakni deflecting the ball beautifully from a free-kick taken by Aron Gunnarsson.
Al Duhail made a comeback again, with Olunga winning a penalty after he was fouled by Ayoub Azzi inside the box. The Kenyan striker made no mistake, firing a clean left-footed kick on Al Arabi goalkeeper Mahmoud Abunada's right corner as teams went into the break with scores levelled at 2-2.
The game resumed in a similar fashion and Al Duhail’s penalty was overturned after referee consulted VAR for his decision to penalise Al Arabi captain Abdulla Al Marafi for a handball, who was trying to block an attempt from Sultan Al Breik inside the box in the 50th minute.
Edmilson, however, struck winner for Al Duhail with smart football. The Belgian stopped a hit from Azzi, who was trying to clear the ball and raced into the area firing the ball in the middle of Abunada’s legs from a difficult angle.
Al Arabi, trailing for the first time in the match, made several attacks for an equaliser.
Abdullah Al Ahrak missed an opportunity to double the advantage for Al Duhail, but he failed to beat the keeper.
Al Arabi created more opportunities particularly in the final moments of the match, but Al Duhail defended well to secure full points.