QNB Stars League Week 22 - Umm Salal 1 Al Gharafa 5
Al Gharafa beat Umm Salal 5-1 in Week 22 (final round) of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League at the Qatar SC Stadium on Saturday.
Koo Ja-Cheol (25th minute), captain Othman Al Yahri (47th minute), Ahmed Al Janehi (59th minute), Jonathan Kodjia (62nd minute) and Adlene Guedioura (90th minute) scored the goals for Al Gharafa after Kayke Rodrigues (15th minute) put Umm Salal ahead.
Al Gharafa thus achieved fourth position with 33 points after their 10th victory, taking advantage of the defeats of both Al Ahli and Qatar SC in the final round.
Al Ahli (-10) also finished with 33 points, but Al Gharafa maintained a better goal difference (+7) to take back their fourth position.
Al Ahli ended up fifth, with Qatar SC (32 points) slipping to sixth position in the final standings.
Umm Salal finished 10th with 21 points after suffering their 11th defeat.
The Orange Fortress, however, started their final match on a positive note as a defensive error by Al Gharafa handed them an opportunity to open the account, but Kayke’s hit from edge of the box was too high.
Kayke collected another fine cross from the centre, but his attempt flew over the crossbar again.
Kodjia’s touch from near the penalty spot after Homam Al Ameen’s cross was brilliantly saved by Umm Salal goalkeeper Samy Habib with a dive on his left.
Kayke then came up with a stunning free-kick from the left just outside the box, firing the ball in the right corner, giving no chance to Al Gharafa goalkeeper Yousef Hassan despite a diving effort.
As Al Gharafa looked to fight back, captain Othman’s dangerous strike from inside the box was deflected away after taking defender Ali Mohammad’s touch with Habib nowhere to be seen.
Koo’s incredible back-heel goal from close to the right upright brought Al Gharafa back into the game. Umm Salal left Homam unmarked inside the box after conceding a free-kick, letting him to pass the ball easily to the South Korean, who finished the move in a spectacular fashion.
Al Gharafa started dominating the proceedings after their opening goal, making several attacks including a couple of dangerous attempts by Kodjia, which were thwarted by Habib as teams went into the half-time with scores levelled.
The Cheetahs clinched lead soon after the start of second half through their captain when Umm Salal keeper Habib miscalculated Sofiane Hanni’s cross and failed to grab the ball, giving a golden opportunity to Othman, who struck the ball in the right corner with a rocket.
Just before the one-hour mark, Al Gharafa extended their lead after Al Janehi headed the ball in from Othman’s cross following a corner.
Three minutes later, Al Gharafa made it 4-1, with Kodjia scoring with a header from a corner kick.
Umm Salal failed to stage a comeback despite making a lot of efforts before Adlene completed Al Gharafa’s emphatic victory with a strike in the last minute.