Doha, - A solitary second half goal from Yusef Ahmed gave Al Arabi with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Al Sailiya, in their opening game of the Qatar Stars League (QSL) season.
Arabi looked the better side in the opening exchanges, and it took just twelve minutes for them to craft the first opportunity. A surging run from Mohammed Jumma and cross fell to midfielder Mohammed Shaban his shot was eventually scrambled away by the Sailiya defense.
Al Sailiya too found their way back into the tie with summer signing Paul Efolou's stretched shot easily picked up by Arabi stopper Rajan Hamza, the first half ended honors even at 0-0.
With the second half underway, it was clear that Arabi were dominating the ball and looking for the opening goal. Despite Arabi pushing the hosts for an opening Al Sailiya remained resolute with central midfielder Raoul Lo? standing out in his defensive midfield role.
Eventually Al Arabi found their opener on the 62nd minute. A pinpoint accurate pass from summer signing Wagner Ribero found an onrushing Yusef Ahmed, the striker sprinted towards the goal and kept his composure to slot pass the Sailiya keeper Gregory Gomis to give his side a deserved lead.
Al Sailiya looked for an equalizer and came close in the final minutes through Abdulrahman Al Harazi although his chance was calmly patted down by Rajab Hamza. Despite the late pressure, Al Arabi held out for an opening day victory, much to the delight of new coach Gerardo Pelusso who celebrated at the full time whistle.
Source: Qatar News Agency