Al Shahania pulled off a shock to earn their first victory of the season, thanks to a superb 2-1 win over Al Gharafa in Week 12 of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League at the Al Arabi Stadium on Friday.
Al Shahania’s goals were scored by Kesse Amangoua in the 19th and 54th minutes, whereas Al Gharafa had earlier equalised through Sofiane Hanni in the 41st minute (penalty).
Al Shahania coach Jose Murcia would have been delighted with the vital three points they collected against one of the league’s best sides.
Following a solid opening period, their confidence grew and were duly rewarded for their early endeavours. Ahmed Akaichi attacked the left flank before pulling the ball back from the byline into the path of the grateful Amangoua, who smashed home to give his side the lead.
The spirited performance continued and they were unfortunate not to double their lead when both Amangoua and Ali Ferydoon went close. So often the architects of their own downfall, Al Shahania gifted Al Gharafa the equaliser when Saleh Al Yahri brought down Muad Hassan in the penalty area. The referee authoritatively pointed to the spot and Hanni stepped up to put his side level with a powerful strike.
Before the half was out, The Cheetahs nearly scored the goal of the season when Abdulghani Muneer latched onto a long pass and struck an audacious volley that rose narrowly over the crossbar.
Into the second half and Al Shahania quickly restored their lead as an excellently-executed through ball by Ahmed Akaichi was pounced up on by the predatory Amangoua who neatly finished to grab his second of the game.
His side was dealt a blow not long after when Ferydoon was given his marching orders in the 66th minute following a second yellow card and that led to a resurgence by Al Gharafa.
They were able to immediately threaten and Ebrahim Mordou was forced to make two fine saves in quick succession from Muad and Hanni to keep his side in the lead.
The game settled down after this and Al Shahania were able to hold on for a magnificent win to move onto eight points. Al Gharafa remained on 20 points.