Al Gharafa overcame a stubborn Al Shahania defence to come away as 3-0 winners in Week 1 of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League at the Al Janoub Stadium yesterday.
In the second match of the day, two first-half penalties ensured that the match between Al Sailiya and Al Khor ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
While Karim Ansari scored from the spot to give Sailiya a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute, Tiago levelled it for Khor in the 37th to ensure that the two teams shared points.
Al Gharafa scored their goals through Ahmed Alaaeldin (64th and 90+4 minut
es), and Sofiane Hanni (72nd minute).
From start to finish, it was a very dominant performance from Slavisa Jokanovic’s men as they put down an early marker for the season.
The opening half saw a collection of chances created by The Cheetahs as they kept pushing for that opening goal, most notably through Sofiane and Alaaeldin, with the latter’s back-heeled shot drifting marginally wide of the post.
The two teams could have been easily separated at the break had it not been for the goalkeeping expertise of Khalifa al-Dossari in goal for Al Shahania. The second half commenced in similar attacking fashion, with Al Gharafa hitting three well-struck volleys within a five-minute period.
The resistance was finally broken when Alaaeldin latched on to Sofiane’s pass to drill the ball home.
Fewer than 10 minutes later, they doubled their lead spectacularly when Sofiane beat the onrushing goalkeeper with a superb flick.
At that point, it was game over and Alaaeldin ended the match by beating the offside trap to grab his second of the night.