Al Arabi quell Al Wakrah challenge for second win
The Friday evening crowd expected the match to go the distance but Al Wakrah ran out of steam after an impressive start.
There was nothing exceptional that Al Arabi did against Al Wakrah on Friday evening. They went through their routine manoeuvres of attack and defence well. Even when Al Wakrah’s Venezuelan recruits Ivan Jose Fernandez and Hector Salemo pounded them with smashes, they were unperturbed. They lost a set during that barrage, but showed no sign of panic and in the end their patience helped them notch up their second win of the Qatar Volleyball League at the Al Arabi Sports Club.
The scoreline read 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 25-10 in Al Arabi’s favour.
- Al Arabi bt Al Wakrah 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 25-10.
- SATURDAY’S MATCH:
- 4pm: Qatar SC vs Al Sadd
After Al Arabi won the first set, Wakrah came back all guns firing in the second set. Fernandez with his left-handed spikes and Salemo with his clever placements and thundering spikes won points for them against the red-outfitted Al Arabi.
The Arabi defence at the net, manned by Mohammed Ibrahim, Bassam Ahmed and at different times by Goiano Geraldo and Bratoev Valentin, seemed to have no answers to the Venezuelan firepower. Smash after smash mixed with some clever lobs and placements delighted the Friday evening volleyball enthusiasts. Soon, Al Arabi’s 25-19 first-set advantage was negated with a similar scoreline from Al Wakrah in the second set.
Wakrah, however, failed to live up to expectations in the third set as Arabi soaked up their attacks and stayed calm. There was only so much Fernando and Salemo could do and their efforts tired them out. After the initial flurry, Wakrah’s attacks lacked sting. The responsibility fell on Samb Tamsir to rescue them. But his spikes did not carry the same viciousness as that of the Venezuelans’. Al Arabi blunted his efforts with effective blocks.
Al Arabi again got a foothold on the match and went on to win the game at 25-16 to take a 2-1 set lead.
It was disaster for Wakrah in the fourth set. Neither Fernandez nor Salemo could help them garner points. Al Arabi continued to do what they did in the first set — Ibrahim, Ahmed and Valentin manning the net and Geraldo sending down his spikes. Soon they were ahead at 7-0 and the deficit proved too big to bridge. There was no way Wakrah could hope to overtake the consistent Al Arabi. The latter accumulated the points and sped away to a 25-10 win to wrap up the match.