Expo Stars League: Al Ahli Secure Vital Victory Over Al Gharafa in Week 14

2024-02-25 | Since 2 Month

 Al Ahli Secure Vital Victory Over Al Gharafa

Doha, 25 February 2024 - Idrissa Doumbias last-gasp goal gave Al Ahli a vital 2-1 victory over 10-man Al Gharafa in Week 14 of the 2023-2024 Expo Stars League at the Thani Bin Jassim Stadium of Al Gharafa club on Saturday.

Ahmed Alaaeldin scored for Al Gharafa in the 45+5 minute before Julian Draxler equalised for Al Ahli in the 90+2 minute. Doumbia secured the winner in the 90+11 minute, with Oumar Sekou providing the assists for both of Al Ahlis goals.

With the important victory, Al Ahli are now on 15 points, some safe distance from the relegation zone, while Al Gharafa remained on 27 points.

As expected, Al Ahli, who are battling to stay far away from the relegation zone, were the more aggressive of the two sides from the blast of the whistle. It was therefore not surprising that their midfielder Abubakar Mohammed Bayomi registered a booking in the fourth minute.

Al Gharafa were reduced to 10 men in the 22nd minute after Seydou Sano was given the marching orders for a dangerous push on a goal-bound Yazan Al Naimat. The foul necessitated Al Naimats replacement with Abdulrasheed Ibrahim.

While Al Ahli called for a penalty kick following the foul, the call was, however, rejected after a thorough VAR check. The subsequent free-kick by Draxler was, however, not converted.

Despite being a man down, Al Gharafa were the more attack-minded of the two sides, with Al Ahli goalkeeper Marwan Sherif rising to the occasion with several spectacular saves as the first half wore on.

Two minutes into injury time, Sekou had a wonderful opportunity to put Al Ahli ahead, but his point-blank shot was spectacularly parried out by goalkeeper Khalifa Ndiaye.

With the match seemingly heading to a scoreless first half, Alaaeldin opened the scoring for Al Gharafa two minutes later with a low glancing header after connecting perfectly with Amro Serajs cross.

As much as Al Ahli tried to restore parity, the difference remained the same as the teams headed for the dugout.

The tempo of the match remained unchanged on the start of second half, with Al Gharafas one-man disadvantage counting for nothing as they remained attack-minded while Al Ahli were forced to play defensive for most of the early part of the half.

The Brigadiers had a couple of chances as the match progressed, but they were unlucky to bury them, the most prominent of which was Draxler hitting the crossbar with a header in the 62nd minute.

Al Ahli began to get into the groove with time as they began to began their one-man advantage, with the four second-half substitutes making the difference.

After numerous attempts, Al Gharafas defence eventually caved in three minutes into added time, with Draxler equalising for his side three minutes into stoppage from an assist by Yansane.

With the game heading for an apparent stalemate, Al Ahli got their winner with almost the final kick of the match through Doumbia, who secured the vital goal and the maximum points in the 11th minute of stoppage time. The assist also came from Sekou.


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