Sneijder strikes late as Al Gharafa force a draw

Published on: 10 January 2019

DOHA: A second-half strike by Wesley Sneijder yesterday helped Al Gharafa post a 1-1 draw against Al Arabi. In the 23rd minute of the match, hosts Al Arabi grabbed the lead in the Group A clash.

Fahad Khalfan spotted Diego Jardel unmarked close to the Al Gharafa box and slipped in a neat cross. Jardel tapped the ball and charged into the Al Gharafa box even as keeper Qasim Burhan stepped out of his position. Jardel easily hoodwinked Burhan and flicked the ball into the net for Al Arabi’s first goal at Grand Hamad Stadium.

Both sides walked off the pitch at half time with Al Arabi holding on to their slender lead against Group A leaders.

In the second half, Al Gharafa upped the ante and attacked the Al Arabi goalmouth repeatedly. In the 74th minute, Dutch international and Al Gharafa skipper Wesley Sneijder exhibited glimpses of his former glory days when he curled in a superb free-kick to score the equaliser.

Al Arabi are still without a win from five matches.