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Umm Salal edge Al Gharafa

Doha: Al Gharafa’s hopes of challenging for the QNB Stars League title suffered a setback on Saturday as they lost to Umm Salal 3-2.

Gharafa enjoyed the majority of ball possession and created plenty of chances, but a lack of finishing and smart goalkeeping from Umm Salal's Basel Samih cost them three crucial points.

Gharafa are sixth in the table with seven points from five games, the same as Umm Salal who are seventh on goal difference.

Mahmoud Al Mawas opened the scoring for Umm Salal in the 28th minute with a curling shot from outside the box that eluded the outstretched hands of Gharafa goalkeeper Youssef Hassan.

But Gharafa came back strongly with two goals in four minutes and briefly looked to have taken control of the game.

First, Amro Seraj lashed home the equaliser in the 36th after a move also involving Vladimir Weiss, Mehdi Taremi and Wesley Sneijder.

Soon it was 2-1 as Hossam Kamal fouled Yousuf Muftah inside the area and Sneijder made no mistake from the spot.

However, Umm Salal drew level before halftime as Yannick Sagbo beat Hassan with powerful shot four minutes later.

And three minutes into the second half they took the lead through Ismail Mahmoud.

Though Sagbo’s initial shot was blocked by Gharafa defender Diego Amado, the rebound fell kindly for Mahmoud who blasted home with minimum fuss.

Though Gharafa desperately looked to get back into the match, a goal eluded them despite their best efforts.

Seraj’s shot whizzed past the upright, substitute Ahmed Alaaeldin hit the other post with a powerful header, while Umm Salal keeper Basel Samih made a number of crucial saves including to deny Taremi after a beautiful move and with his feet to stop Sneijder’s pile driver.

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