Umm Salal holds onto one goal lead against Al Arabi

The round 8 tie between Al Arabi and Umm Salal kicked off yesterday night at 19:45 in the Grand Hamad stadium.

A single goal separated the two sides who on paper matched up evenly. The home side Al Arabi was higher in the table than their opponents but recent acquisitions by the boys in orange meant that this would turn out to be an intriguing encounter.

Umm Salal started the game attacking from left to right and the only goal of the game came in the first half when playmaker Tuncay Şanlı worked his magic near the by line on the right wing with a beautiful cross for Ilyas who rose highest and headed well for the game’s opener (22’).

From that point onwards Al Arabi head coach Dan Petrescu urged his charges to push forward which mean that Umm Salal were obliged to play on the counter attack.

Barzan’s falcons hung on until the half time whistle was blown knowing that to put the game beyond doubt they would probably have to get a second.

In the second half the same pattern continued only now with more urgency as the minutes ticked by.

And late on Paulo Sérgio Betanin came closets with a deflected snap shot and a strong header but Baba Malick was up to the task and saved his side on a number of occasions.

Salal head coach Bulent Uygun brought on Jeremie Aliadiere in the second half to try and give his boys a more attacking edge and stretch the Arabi defense however the French didn’t come close to scoring.

The final whistle blew to the delight of Turk Bulent on a night when a single goal was all it took. For all of Al Arabi fire power