QNB Stars League Week 5 — Al Gharafa 2 Umm Salal 3
Umm Salal fought back in style to beat Al Gharafa 3-2 in Week 5 of the QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday.
Mahmoud Al Mawas (28th minute), Yannick Sagbo (44th) and Ismail Mahmoud (48th) scored the goals for Umm Salal.
For Al Gharafa, Amro Seraj (36th) and Wesley Sneijder (40th) found the target.
Al Gharafa captain Wesley Sneijder produced a neat cross from the flank as early as the third minute, but charging team-mate Amro failed to deflect the ball into the net from close range.
The Dutch star kept the Umm Salal backline busy with corners and free-kicks in the next few minutes, but the rivals held firm.
In the 16th minute, Sneijder curled in a free-kick that sailed just inches past the Umm Salal goalpost, with keeper Basel Zaidan beaten by the ball’s pace.
Umm Salal, who moved to seven points, stunned Al Gharafa by producing the first goal of the match with a slick finish. Al Mawas, unmarked with acres of space, curled in from outside the box to beat Al Gharafa’s young goalkeeper Yousef Hassan with a pacy shot.
Al Gharafa produced the equaliser, thanks to fast moves by Sneijder. The former Dutch international weaved his way into the Umm Salal box but in an effort to take aim at the goal, he slipped. Amro, however, quickly recovered to fire a left-footed drive into the net.
Four minutes later, Sneijder converted a penalty to give Al Gharafa a 2-1 lead. It was Sneijder’s third goal this season.
A minute before the half-time whistle, Umm Salal captain Sagbo beat a couple of defenders before drilling one from the edge of the box to make the score 2-2. It was Sagbo’s fourth goal of the season.
Three minutes into the second half, Umm Salal jumped to a 3-2 lead after a bullet drive from Mahmoud from inside the box. Moments later, Sneijder was benched as he felt cramps.
In the 65th minute, Al Gharafa substitute Ahmed Alaaeldin nearly pulled off a spectacular equaliser with a snap-header, but the deflection bounced back after the ball hit the goalpost.
Two minutes later Al Gharafa’s Vladimir Weiss drilled a low ball, but Umm Salal keeper Zaidan blocked the shot with a left-footed deflection.