Doha: Al Rayyan's title challenge in the QNB Stars League suffered a major slip up after Umm Sall held them to a 1-1 draw at Al Gharafa Stadium on Thursday.
Umm Salal, who seemed to have gone off the boil after an encouraging start to their campaign, looked destined for another defeat when Sebastian Soria gave Rayyan the lead at the start of the second half.
But Umm Salal soon hit back through Mohammed El Zayed, and with a bit of luck, could have even taken all three points.
Rayyan are on 25 points, the same as leaders Duhail, who, however, can go three clear with a victory against Al Markhiya on Saturday.
Rayyan dominated the possession in the first half but they failed to test Umm Salal goalkeeper Basel Samih.
The Lions endured a big set back when Abderrazzaq Hamdallah suffered an injury in the 19th minute and was replaced by Mohsine Moutaouali.
Soria had a fine chance to test Samih in the 27th minute, but his powerful shot after a Tabata freekick from the left was wide of the mark. The Lions had another opportunity after Moutaouali made a surging run into the box and cut the ball back, but Soria could not get the vital touch on the ball.
Rayyan took the lead in the 49th minute when Soria blasted home a left-footer from inside the area, but the Michael Laudrup-coached side, despite almost dominating the play, failed to stick on to it for long.
Umm Salal equalised in the 61st minute through Al Zayed, who headed home a cross from Mahmoud Almawas on the left, after Rayyan defense left him unmarked inside the six- yard box.
All of a sudden Umm Salal looked the better team and they came close to taking the lead two minutes later when Almawas was given space and time inside the Rayyan penalty box, but the Syrian forward’s shot was saved by keeper Omar Barry.
Though Rayyan tried to hit back, with Tabata testing Samih with a freekick from distance, it was Umm Salal who came closest to scoring again, substitute Ismail Mahmoud flashed his glancing header inches wide of the target.
Rayyan got a freekick in a promising position when Tabata was fouled just outside the area deep in added time, but the playmaker's shot sailed inches wide.
Earlier, goals from Ahmed Alaaeldin, Amro Abdelfatah Ali Surag, Luiz Jimenez helped Al Gharafa defeat Al Arabi 3-1. Arabi had taken the lead in the 58th through Khalfan Ibrahim but still succumbed to their sixth defeat of the season.