Doha, 4 April 2023 - Ahmed Alaaeldin struck late to help Al Gharafa clinch three points with a 1-0 victory over Al Markhiya at the QNB Stars League (QSL) last night.
Also yesterday, Al Shamal scored an identical 1-0 win over Al Ahli with Amjad Attwan scoring the winning goal.
At the Thani Bin Jassim Stadium, Alaaeldin, who came close to scoring several times in the match, finally broke the deadlock two minutes before time after Yacine Brahimi set up a goal, working his way inside the box from the left.
A fine touch by the Qatari forward from a close range secured the win for the fourth-placed Cheetahs, who moved to 29 points, two clear of Al Wakrah. Alaaeldin earlier saw his attempt hitting the post in the first half.
Al Markhiya’s hopes of a comeback after conceding a late goal were dented due to a red card to Ayoub Azzi, who was punished for bringing down Mehdi Tahrat in the 90th minute.
At Hamad Bin Khalifa Stadium, Atwan volleyed the winner for Al Shamal in the 40th minute of the match. Al Ahli’s Hossein Kanaani received a red card in the 88th minute of the match.
Al Shamal now have 17 points from 17 matches while Al Ahli are 7th in the standings with 21 points from 18 games.
Meanwhile, Al Arabi are seeking to continue pressure on leaders Al Duhail as they meet Umm Salal in their Week 18 match at Grand Hamad Stadium, tonight.
Al Arabi, who are second in the standings with 37 points, are trailing Al Duhail by five points after they defeated Al Sailiya on Saturday night.
Umm Salal will aim to move away from the danger zone as they are 11th with 13 points.
The two teams are facing off after their Ooredoo Cup semi-final where Umm Salal fought back to edge Al Arabi 2-1. Al Arabi coach Younes Ali said the players must give their best to claim win over Umm Salal.
“The players are required to provide the best possible level and maintain the highest levels of concentration in order to collect points,” he told reporters at a pre-match press conference.
“I believe that not all matches will be easy and our last match against Umm Salal in the Ooredoo Cup is evidence of that. The players must be at the top of their concentration, especially since the match is at our stadium and in front of our fans,” Younes added.
Umm Salal coach Talal El Karkouri, meanwhile, was expecting a strong show from Al Arabi.
“Facing Al Arabi will be difficult. There is a difference between our match against Al Arabi in the Ooredoo Cup semi-final and the league match,” said El Karkouri.
“Each side aspires to achieve victory and we prepared the team well for the meeting, and we have to play with great caution in view of the strength of the opponents. Therefore focus will be our biggest weapon in this match and we must cope with the developments until we reach the desired goal,” he added.