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Qatar tribune
Tribune News NetworkDohaAl Wakrah rallied from being a goal down to beat last season’s runners-up Al Duhail 4-2 in a thrilling Week 1 clash of the QNB Stars League 2022-23 season at the Education City Stadium on Tuesday.The match was tied 1-1 at half time.While the goals for Al Duhail came from Murad Naji (Own Goal 15th minute) and Michael Olunga (50th minute), the goal-scorers for Al Wakrah were Trent Sainsbury (45th minute), Jacinto Dala (54th and 90th minute), and Omid Ebrahimi (68th minute, Penalty).Having suffered an early setback, when Murad Naji while trying to cut off an Al Duhail cross he erred and put the ball into his own goal, Al Wakrah rallied superbly to counter a charged up Red Knights.Just before half time, Al Wakrah’s latest acquisition Australian Trent Sainsbury (who has played for a number of clubs in Australia, Holland, Italy, China and Belgium) showed his class making a beautiful header being left unmarked. Sainsbury was fed with the perfect ball from a corner kick by Murad Naji, making amends for his earlier mistake.The match went into an overdrive straight up in the second half with Al Duhail’s Kenyan striker Michael Olunga scoring with a header after being provided with a superb long left-foot pass by Belgian winger Edmilson Junior from outside the box (2-1).Minutes later, Al Wakrah equalized when Angolan Jacinto “Gelson” Dala made the most of a lapse from Al Duhail captain Luiz Martin Junior in the midfield. Martin failed to control the ball while receiving a pass and Dala latched on to the chance running into the penalty area where he dribbled past three players to score (2-2).Al Wakrah regained the lead in the 68th minute when Dala made a cross to substitute Ismail Mahmoud but his shot was staved off by an agile Al Duhail goalkeeper Mohammed Al Bakri. Al Wakrah’s Omid Ebrahimi was then tackled by Luiz Martin from behind stepping on to his shoe and the referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim signaled to the spot. Ebrahimi coolly scored the penalty shooting into the right corner (3-2).The joy for Al Wakrah was doubled towards the end when Dala returned to benefit from another defensive lapse. Cutting off from a Ferjani Sassi cross, Dala ran all the way with the ball at ease to beat the goalkeeper much to the delight of his team and the fans (4-2).Al Duhail’s Argentine coach Hernan Crespo was disappointed with his team’s losing start to the league. Speaking after the match he said, “Of course, Al Wakrah played a good game, but I feel that today we played against ourselves and did not take advantage of our chances. “It is important for me to say that after many years of experience in the field of football that the first matches of tournaments usually have an unexpected result and do not come out as pictured, but many teams start to develop and achieve positive results after the match. We must continue to work and correct mistakes, and our players must give a hundred and ten of their efforts on and off the field,” Crespo added.
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