Doha: Al Gharafa's hopes of finishing fourth in the QNB Stars League suffered a blow on Saturday when they were shocked by Al Arabi 1-3, thanks to Kwame Karikari's double.
Gharafa were almost in a hopeless position as Umm Salal, their rivals for the race to fourth, were leading against Al Rayyan in another match played simultaneously, but Abderrazaq Hamdellah's 94th-minute equaliser for the Lions handed the Cheetahs a late lifeline.
Gharafa can still finish fourth with a victory against Qatar SC in the final match on April 7, provided Umm Salal do not beat Al Markhiya by more than eight goals.
At Al Arabi Stadium, it was all going well for Gharafa as they had taken the lead in the 36th minute despite not being at their best.
Diego Amado met Wesley Sneijder's ball from the right with a towering header that was blocked by Arabi captain Talal Ali, but Robert Quijada was on hand to slot the rebound home to the relief of the Gharafa bench.
However, their relief turned to horror a short while later as referee Khamis Al Marri deemed Qasim Burhan's effort to hold on to an innocuous-looking high ball dangerous as his leg caught Arabi's Mudir Abdurabu Alradaei in the midriff and gave the goalkeeper a straight red.
Diego Jardel beat substitute goalkeeper Yousuf Hassan from the spot deep in first-half added time to draw the scores level.
Karikari missed two glorious chances to give Arabi the lead, but he redeemed himself in the 73rd minute by heading home substitute's Mohamed Salem's cross from the right.
He was not finished as he curled in a beautiful left-footer from outside the box in the 81 minute to seal the victory for Arabi.
Elsewhere, Youssef El Arabi and Youssef Msakni continued their fierce battle for the top-scorer title as they both scored braces for Duhail SC in their 4-2 victory that sealed the fate of hapless Al Markhiya. El Arabi has 26 goals while his captain Msakni is on 25.
Meanwhile, Al Khor ensured safety with a shock 1-0 victory against Al Sadd.
Khor's victory also meant that Al Kharaitiyat would have to playe the relegation playoff against the QatarGas League runnersup despite their 3-2 victory against Qatar SC.
In another match, Al Sailiya defeated Al Ahli 3-0.