Ruthless Al Duhail trounce Umm Salal

 22 Oct 2017 - 12:02

Ruthless Al Duhail trounce Umm Salal
Umm Salal goalkeeper Basel Zaidan blocks a goal bound shot from Al Duhail striker Youssef El Arabi during their QNB Stars League match at Al Gharafa Stadium yesterday. Al Duhail won 4-1. Pictures: Kammutty VP/The Peninsula

By Rizwan Rehmat | The Peninsula

Three days ago French-born striker Youssef El Arabi promised he would aim to get the trophy that matters to him - the Top Scorer’s shield - in the 2017-18 football season. 

The 30-year-old forward lived up to his high billing yesterday when he fired two more goals as Al Duhail crushed Umm Salal 4-1 at the Al Gharafa Stadium. 

El Arabi now has 10 goals to his name in just five matches.

The other two goals for Al Duhail yesterday were scored by Nam Tae-hee (6) and captain Youssef Msakni (70). 

Substitute Bazman Khoubiari showed pace to produce a late goal in the 87th minute for Umm Salal. 

In the other game yesterday, Al Ahli posted their first win of the season when they hammered Qatar 3-1.

Al Duhail, coached by Djamel Belmadi, were quick off the blocks when star striker Nam-Tae hee flicked one from inside the Umm Salal box and beat the goalkeeper in the 6th minute of the match. 

It was a welcome sight for coach Belmadi who returned after missing two QNB Stars League games because of suspension. 

Umm Salal, coached by Mahmoud Sayed, produced a sting of attacks in the following minutes but were denied but Al Duhail goalkeeper Khalifa Abubacar Ndiaye. 

In the 39th minute, Al Duhail’s mercurial striker El Arabi fired his 9th goal of the season when he deflected a neat cross from Ali Hassan past Umm Salal goalkeeper Basel Zaidan. 

Al Duhail walked off the Al Gharafa Stadium pitch knowing they enjoyed 60 percent of the ball possession in the fast-paced first half.

In the 57th minute, Umm Salal goalkeeper Zaidan showed poor timing with a jump to block a curling corner kick and missed the ball.

However, Al Duhail’s Hassan lunged forward near the far post but could not deflect the loose ball into the net from close range. Exactly at the one-hour mark, Al Duhail’s Luiz Martin Junior - sporting a bandage on his head - clipped one towards the Umm Salal goal but his shot was blocked by Zaidan.

In the 68th minute, El Arabi easily converted a penalty kick for his 10th strike of the season as Al Duhail jumped to a 3-0 cushion. A minute later, El Arabi - with a clear shot towards the goal - chipped in a neat cross to Msakni who fired home from close range in the 70th minute.

Meanwhile a double by captain Abdulla helped Al Ahli beat Qatar SC 3-0, notching their first win of the season in five matches.

Abdulla played a pivotal role for Al Ahli (12 and 62) who saw Yasin Chikaoui score the remaining goal (45) at Khalifa Bin Adbullah Stadium.

For Qatar SC, it was their fourth loss of the season.

Al Ahli, coming off a 6-1 loss against Al Duhail last week, opened the scoring through their reliable striker Abdulla who headed home off an indirect corner kick in the 12th minute. 

It was Abdulla’s - often the cornerstone of Al Ahli’s great fightbacks - first goal of the new season.

Midfielder Yasin Chikaoui doubled Al Ahli’s lead injury time when he forced Qatar SC goalkeeper Rajab Hamza to charge out on a loose ball. Hamza mistimed his attack and Chikaoui calmly slotted the ball home. 

In the 62nd minute, Abdulla added to his team’s and personal tally when he scored Al Ahli’s third goal following a neat 1-2 with team mate Fareed Ibrahim. 

After picking up a high ball, Ibrahm ran towards the Qatar SC box and swiftly back-heeled the ball to unmarked Abdullah who wasted little time in slotting the ball past goalkeeper Hamza.