Umm Salal held reigning champions Al Sadd to a 1-1 draw in Week 2 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.
Umm Salal shot ahead through Joao Teixeira (45+2 minute) before Baghdad Bounedjah scored the equalizer for Al Sadd in the 63rd minute.
Each team scored its first point in the competition, after Umm Salal lost in the first round 0-1 to Al Ahli and Al Sadd lost 3-4 to Second Division champions Al Markhiya.
Umm Salal played with 10 players following the expulsion of defender Abdullah Khafifi in the 17th minute.
A quiet start came from both teams. In the 12th minute, Abdullah Al Yazidi fired a strong shot from the left side that crossed the Umm Salal goal post.
Then came the red card to Umm Salal defender Abdullah Khafifi, through the VAR decision, for a ‘handball’ incident when Al Sadd’s Andre Ayew was alone in the goal.
Al Sadd then imposed their supremacy and got more than one chance through Rodrigo Tabata in the 25th and Santi Cazorla in the 30th, the latter’s powerful shot going narrowly past the right post of Umm Salal’s goal.
The last minutes of first half saw Umm Salal take the lead through Teixeira.
The second half began amid Al Sadd’s attempts to make amends and Umm Salal responded through counter-attacks by the trio of Teixeira, Jonathan Kodjia and Sardor Rashidov, who threatened Al Sadd’s goal.
Al Sadd’s pressure resulted in the equalizing goal with a powerful shot fired by Bounedjah from outside the penalty area, which entered the far left corner of Umm Salal’s goal.
Al Sadd continued the attack and pressure in the hope of scoring the second goal. On the other hand, Umm Salal tried to play with a defensive reservation in view of the numerical disadvantage and on the counter-attack.