8/31/2018 9:31:48 PM

Sneijder on target as Gharafa blank Ahli 

Sneijder on target as Gharafa blank Ahli 

Doha: It was touted as a matchup between two former Dutch internationals Wesley Sneijder and Nigel De Jong - both products of famed Ajax academy and proven stars - but at the end, the Qatar Stars League fourth-round clash between Al Gharafa and Al Ahli turned out to be a mismatch as the Cheetahs hit four goals without reply despite missing a host of opportunities.

Sneijder opened the scoring in the 12th minute through a penalty while Vladimir Weiss (59th) and Mehdi Taremi (69th) also found the target for Gharafa. Gharafa's other goal came from the boots of Ahli defender Jasem Mohammed in the 63rd.

Ahli had strengthened their midfield by signing De Jong, but Gharafa, with Sneijder, Taremi, Weiss and unsung hero Diego Amado in their ranks, were always going to the favourites.

And it was no surprise that they took the lead in the 12th minute.

Sneijder found Weiss with a beautiful through ball and the Slovak international possessed too much trickery for Ahli defender Mohammed who ended up fouling the Gharafa winger.

Sneijder sent Ahli keeper Yazan Nim Husein the wrong way from the spot to make it 1-0.

Ahli attack, comprising Ali Fereydoun and old warhorse Meshal Abdullah managed to test Gharafa on odd occasions, but Gharafa had too much firepower up front in the likes of Taremi and Weiss.

Taremi could have scored a couple in the first half itself, but finishing let him down. First, he shot straight at the keeper from close range and moments later, with plenty of time to and space to take aim, the Iranian striker hit wide of the target.

Ahli came out after the breather with plenty of attacking intent, but they played themselves into Gharafa's hands.

With Ahli looking for an equaliser, Gharafa launched a counterattack that almost doubled their lead.

The ball passed from Weiss to Taremi to Sneijder, but the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan star's delicious chip caressed the bar and bounced out.

However, Taremi soon made it 2-0 after beating Naim with a powerful grounder from outside the box.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 after Ahli defender Mohammed put the ball in his own net in his effort to clear a rebound following an effort from Amro Seraj.

Weiss made it 4-0 with a neat shot from just inside the box before Ahli compounded their misery when Meshaal saw a direct red card for a wild swing at Sneijder. 

Earlier, Abdulgadir Ilyas Bakur scored a brace as Al Sailiya defeated Al Khor 2-1.

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