QSL Cup Group B Round 2 Match Reports
Two matches were played on Monday night in Group B of the QSL Cup’s Round 2 as Al Markhiya took on Al Arabi at the Al Shamal Stadium and Al Ahli were at home to Umm Salal at the Al Gharafa Stadium. Group B matches will conclude on Wednesday, with Al Sadd facing Al Rayyan at the Al Khor Stadium.
Al Markhiya vs Al Arabi 2-2
Al Markhiya and Al Arabi had to settle for a draw in a hotly-contested encounter. After an even start, it was Al Markhiya who looked the most promising although Al Arabi slowly made their presence felt with a number of attempts on goal, most notably through Ahmed Khalfan.
The deadlock was broken in the 27th minute as Al Markhiya made the most of a strong counter-attack that saw Ibrahim Al Nasr give the home side the lead. Al Arabi were able to equalise just before half-time as Saad Nateq converted a neat header. Al Markhiya were quickly able to regain their lead on the stroke of half-time whistle following a neatly-executed shot from Talal Ali.
With a number of early efforts, the second half started very positively for Al Arabi, influenced by the attacking play of Khalfan Ibrahim. They were denied on several occasions by the brilliance of Al Markhiya goalkeeper Mohamed Muntassar, but were able to finally draw level in the 68th minute through Hussam Kamal.
Since then, the pace of the game increased drastically, with both teams searching for a winner. It was Al Arabi who put the pressure on and Al Markhiya were content to sit back and play on the counter. Al Arabi missed a great chance right at the end as Diego Jardel saw his shot fly just past the post and the match ended all square.
Al Ahli vs Umm Salal 2-2
There was another draw in Group B, between Al Ahli and Umm Salal, with the game also finishing 2-2. Away side Umm Salal got off to a perfect start after only four minutes as Ibrahim Nday converted from Maher Youssef’s tidy assist. This sparked the game into action with a flurry of chances from both sides and the ever-dangerous Sagbo saw his shot brilliantly saved by Al Ahli goalkeeper Mohamed Mubarak before half-time.
The second half started in similar fashion as Al Ahli pushed for an equaliser while Umm Salal sought a second goal. That did happen for Umm Salal in the 62nd minute as Sagbo nipped home to continue his fine form of the season.
There were plenty of chances for Al Ahli, particularly for Tunisian striker Yasin Chikhawy, but it was not until the 72nd minute that they pulled one back through captain Meshaal Abdullah. As the game intensified so did the pressure, with their reward coming in the 85th minute as Mozambican player Simao headed home to help them secure a point.