QNB Stars League Week 4 — Al Ahli 0 Al Gharafa 4
Al Gharafa defeated Al Ahli 4-0 in Week 4 of the QNB Stars League at the Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.
Wesley Sneijder (12th-minute penalty), Mehdi Taremi (58th), Jasem Mohammed (own goal, 63rd) and Vladimir Weiss (70th) scored the goals.
Jasem had a bad day as he tripped Sneijder that resulted in the penalty.
The red card to striker Meshaal Abdulla in the 74th minute compounded the woes of Al Ahli, who matched Al Gharafa in the first half by equally sharing ball possession, before fading out in the second session.
Meshaal was penalised by referee Nayef Al Kadiri for a lunging foul on Sneijder.
Al Gharafa had most of the chances in the opening half. Taremi twice came close only to see his shots go wide of the target, while Abdulaziz Hatem shot over the bar.
In between, Sneijder converted from the spot after he was fouled by Jasem.
Weiss continued his good form since the start of this season. The Slovakian seems to be making up for missing most of last season with an injury.
The face-off of Sneijder and fellow Dutchman Nigel de Jong was the sub-plot of the match. Both players, former Ajax Amsterdam and Netherlands team-mates, pulled the midfield together.
Sneijder joined Al Gharafa halfway through last season, whereas Nigel was recruited by Al Ahli at the start of this season.
Al Gharafa presented a good picture of themselves after half-time, forcing Nigel to retreat to the help of defenders at times.
Sneijder came close to scoring a second time, but he clipped the horizontal with a chip shot.
Al Ahli goalkeeper Yazan Naim brought up a good save off a Sneijder long-ranger towards the end, but the damage had already been done.
Al Gharafa’s second victory took their points tally to seven. Their other win was against Al Sailiya (2-1). The Cheetahs had lost 1-3 to Qatar SC, while they held QNB Stars League leaders Al Sadd to a 1-1 draw.
Al Ahli remained on three points from their victory over Qatar SC in Week 2. The Brigadiers had lost to Al Rayyan and Umm Salal.