Al Arabi beat Al Gharafa 3-2 in Week 21 of the 2021-2022 season QNB Stars League at the Al Arabi Stadium on Wednesday.
Valentin Adama (23rd and 56th minutes), and substitute Ibrahim Nasser Kalla (90+7 minutes) scored the goals for Al Arabi, while Sofiane Hanni (fourth minute) and Cheikh Diabate (76th minute) scored for Al Gharafa.
It was heartbreak for Al Gharafa as Al Arabi displaced them from the fourth position with 33 points. The Cheetahs stood on 30 points.
The match witnessed the expulsion of Al Arabi’s Hamed Ismail in the 36th minute.
Both Al Arabi and Al Gharafa were on same number of points (30), but the latter were placed ahead on better goal difference, going into the match, which had the added importance that it was between direct competitors for the top-four position. And The Dream Team had the last laugh.
Al Arabi and Al Gharafa had played out a goalless draw in the first leg of 2021-2022 season QNB Stars League.
The match started off at a fast pace and Al Gharafa managed to take the lead with an early goal through Hanni.
Al Arabi managed to equalize with an elegant header by Adama.
The equalizing goal increased the enthusiasm of Al Arabi players, who continued to pressurise Al Gharafa and Gabonese striker Aaron Boupendza obtained a penalty kick in the 31st minute after the intervention of Al Gharafa goalkeeper Yousef Hassan, but it was cancelled through VAR.
Then came the red card to Hamed Ismail for his foul on Al Gharafa’s Saifeldeen Fadlallah that made Al Arabi numerically disadvantaged.
Al Gharafa entered the second half with strength and great focus and intensified pressure, trying to dominate a 10-man Al Arabi.
However, Al Arabi scored again through Adama.
Al Gharafa pressed hard and Diabate managed to score the equalizer.
The last minutes saw hectic activity and Ibrahim Nasser scored the winner for Al Arabi deep into stoppage time.