Two goals from substitute Yacine Brahimi late in the game propelled Al Rayyan to a hard-fought 2-0 win over Al Ahli in Round 4 (Group B) of the 2020-21 season Ooredoo Cup at the Al Arabi Stadium on Tuesday.
Al Rayyan moved on to four points with their first victory, while Al Ahli remained on one point as they crashed to their third defeat.
Al Rayyan wasted a number of chances before Brahimi converted a penalty in the 85th minute and then produced a deft finish for his second goal of the match a minute later.
Al Rayyan’s Yohan Boli received a long cross from the flank as early as the third minute, but the striker missed an easy tap into the net from close range when he took the shot on the volley.
In the next 10 minutes, two close chances went waste when Al Ahli’s Hazem Shehata unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box and his shot kissed the crossbar and flew away.
Moments later, Al Rayyan’s Ibrahim Masoud also muffled a shot from close range as Al Ahli goalkeeper quickly moved in to kill the angle of the shot.
Soon after the first water break on the half-hour mark, Boli produced a snap-header from close range, but his deflection was smartly blocked by Al Ahli goalkeeper Yazan Naim.
On the hour mark, Abdulrahman Al Harazi was benched and in walked Brahimi. In the 65th minute, Franck Kom produced a neat slip pass to Brahimi, who failed to outduel his marker within striking range of the Al Ahli goal.
Nine minutes later, Al Ahli skipper Omid Ebrahimi curled in a spectacular shot from the edge of the box, but Al Rayyan goalkeeper Saoud Al Hajri was alert to the situation and dived to his left to collect the ball.
Then came Brahimi’s goals. The penalty was awarded when he was brought down by Fahad Ahmed. The Algerian attacking midfielder scored his second goal with a surprise shot.