Expo Stars League: Al-Sadd settle for a point against Al-Gharafa

Al-Sadd were held to a 2-2 draw by Al-Gharafa at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium on Wednesday, in Week 16 of the Expo Stars League

With this result, Al-Sadd maintains its position at the top with 36 points, and a lead of five points. Seydou Sanou’s own goal (45+1’) put Al-Sadd ahead at halftime, but Ferjani Sassi equalised after the break for Al-Gharafa (71’). Al-Sadd regained the lead through substitute Yousuf Abdurisag (80’) before another goal, this time from Khoukhi Boualem (82’), put the teams on level terms once again.

The match began with an energetic start by Al-Sadd players, who threatened Al-Gharafa’s goal in the opening ten minutes. Akram’s penetration from the left side in the 8th minute resulted in a powerful shot that had to be saved twice by goalkeeper Khalifa Abubakar.

Al-Sadd players came up with several attempts to score the opening goal, with the quartet of Akram, Baghdad Bounedjah, Hassan Al-Haydos, and Gonzalo Plata showcasing their dynamic movements. In the 33rd minute, Plata unleashed a powerful shot that went just wide of the left post.

Al-Sadd finally broke the deadlock when Seydou Sanou scored an own goal, after a cross from Paulo Otavio from the left side, just before the end of the first half.

After the halftime break, Al-Sadd looked to extend their lead but found it challenging. At the hour mark, Wesam Rizk made his first substitution, bringing on Ali Asad for Hassan Al-Haydos to invigorate the attack.

Despite Al-Sadd’s attempts, it was Al-Gharafa who managed to score next, with Sassi’s header, off a corner in the 71st minute, levelling the score.

In the 80th minute, Al-Sadd responded with their second goal which came from the right foot of Yousuf Abdurisag, who had come on as a substitute just a few minutes earlier in place of Bounedjah. He put Al-Sadd back in the lead with a cool finish at the near post, after an assist from Ali Asad.

However, just moments later, Khoukhi Boualem scored an own goal, making it 2-2.

The second half thus concluded in a stalemate, as the top two sides in the league settled for a point apiece.