Qatar SC hold Al Gharafa

Qatar SC hold Al Gharafa

Doha: Qatar SC put in a strong second-half performance to snatch a 1-1 draw against Al Gharafa and a well-deserved point in a QNB Stars League match on Friday.

Captain Luis Jimenez had put Gharafa ahead after converting a penalty in the 35th minute but substitute Habib Habibou equalised in the 83rd.

Though Gharafa missed their injured striker Vladimir Weiss, they had plenty of talent in the likes of Jimenez and Othman Alawi.

After Ahmed Alaaeldin and Jimenez missed opportunities, Qatar SC got their first real chance following a fluent counterattack through the right, but Fahad Khalfan's goal-bound shot was well saved by Gharafa custodian Youssef Hassan.

Gharafa continued to look the more dangerous of the two teams and Jimenez spurned a sitter when he failed to connect Othman Alawi's cross from point-blank range in the 26th minute, allowing Qatar SC captain Mohamed Salim to clear the ball.

Alawi was proving to be a constant nuisance for Qatar SC defence and in the 33rd minute he made a driving run into the box and his shot hit the hand of Qatar SC defender Ibrahem Jamal. Referee Salman Falahi had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and he also gave Jamal a yellow card for the offence.

Jimenez sent Adel the wrong way to make it 1-0.

Qatar SC replaced their Nigerian forward Baba Tunde with Habib Habibou at the start of the second half and the Central African Republic striker made an industrious start to the game, making himself a menace with his strong physical presence and energetic running.

Gharafa, meanwhile, were making things difficult for them with their lackadaisical game and once Habibou had a strong claim for a penalty waved away by the referee. Habibou then sent his shot wide of the post as Qatar SC had the better of the exchanges.

However, Alawi had a chance to settle the issue in the 79th minute, but his powerful shot from outside the area, after a quick counter, rattled the crossbar and bounced kindly for Hassan who was relieved to grab it.

Qatar SC were then rewarded for their positive game as Habibou met Salim's cross with a towering header to make it 1-1.

Salim had a chance to win it for Qatar SC soon after but his header off a corner from the right missed the target by a whisker, with the goalkeeper beaten completely.  

Gharafa are seventh in the table with11 points from as many games while Qatar SC, in 11th, are on eight.

Earlier, Khalfan Ibrahim scored a brace, including a 71st-minute penalty, as Al Arabi blanked nine-man Al Khor 3-0. Jasser Yahya opened the scoring in the 35th minute for Arabi, who are ninth with nine points. Khor had two of their players sent off as Soroush Rafiei was shown a direct red in the third minute while Mehdi Reza Ahmed was given his marching orders after his second yellow.

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