QNB Stars League Week 21 – Al Arabi 1 Al Kharaitiyat 2


Al Kharaitiyat defeated Al Arabi 2-1 in Week 21 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League at the Al Ahli Stadium on Wednesday. 

Oumar Sako (24th minute) and Mohammed Osman (48th minute) scored for Al Kharaitiyat after Abdulaziz Al Ansari had put Al Arabi ahead in the 14th minute.

Al Kharaitiyat’s fourth win of the season took them to 12 points, while Al Arabi remained suffered their ninth defeat and stood on 26 points.

However, Al Kharaitiyat were officially relegated to the Second Division as they are still four points adrift of 11th-placed Al Khor, who drew 1-1 with Al Duhail on Tuesday.

Al Kharaitiyat created the first chance of the match, but Al Arabi defender Ayoub Azzi dived to block a shot by Rachid Tiberkanine from close range in the second minute.  

After a few early attacks by Al Kharaitiyat, Al Arabi took control of the match by scoring the opening goal. The Dream Team went ahead after Al Ansari, evading his marker, headed the ball in from close range off a corner kick, leaving no chance for goalkeeper Shehab Mamdouh.

Al Kharaitiyat were ahead in ball possession and their aggressive approach handed them an equaliser, with Sako scoring for them with a rising header from a free-kick. 

Al Kharaitiyat were impressive in the remaining first half making several surges before Al Arabi’s Aron Gunnarsson headed the ball over the crossbar following a corner kick in stoppage time.

Al Kharaitiyat maintained 62 per cent of ball possession in the first session.

They continued the momentum and grabbed the lead early in the second half, with Osman striking a right-footed hit past Al Arabi goalkeeper Mahmoud Abunada from just inside the box. Nasser Ibrahim assisted in the goal with an angular pass from a distance. 

Icelandic coach Heimir Hallgrimsson made three changes before the hour-mark as Al Arabi looked for a fightback. But Al Kharaitiyat were not allowing gaps to Al Arabi and continued with their own attacks.  

Nasser created a golden opportunity for Al Kharaitiyat’s third goal with a solo effort, racing into the box ahead of two defenders, but his chip past the goalkeeper hit the crossbar in the 69th minute.     

Al Kharaitiyat were also impressive in defence, not letting Al Arabi coming close to the goal.    

However, Mehrdad Mohammadi created a last-gasp chance for an equaliser for Al Arabi, but captain Abdulla Al Marafi did not get enough room to launch a strike from close range as Al Kharaitiyat walked away with full points.