Lekhwiya bounced back from two goals down to hold Al Sadd 2-2 as the Qatar Stars League concluded yesterday with all 12 teams in action.
Al Sadd had already won their 13th league title with a game to spare last week but there was still enough in yesterday’s match to keep spectators interested as Lekhwiya were desperate to prove a point and go out in a blaze of glory.
However, they fell just short of that objective despite cranking up their game a gear in the second half during which they pounded the Al Sadd defence and scored twice through Sebastian Soria and Yousef Mskeni.
Al Sadd beat Al Kharatiat 3-1 last week to clinch the championship and thus avoid a tricky do-or-die battle with Lekhwiya on the last day, as yesterday’s encounter well and truly proved.
The Wolves appeared to be running away with the game when Hassan al-Haidous and Ali Asad struck in the first half to put their team ahead.
But Soria and Mskeni produced stunning goals of their own to help Lekhwiya finish on a relative high. The Uruguay-born Soria finished as the highest scorer in the QSL with 18 goals, with Al Rayyan’s Brazilian Nilmar in second place on 14 and Al Khor’s Julio Cezar in third on 12.
Al Sadd coach Hussein Amotta heaved a sigh of relief after the match, saying his team’s victory over Al Khartaiat had bailed them out.
“Had we lost to Kharatiat last week today’s match would have proven very tricky,” said the Moroccan. “This is why you have to take your chances and win as many games as possible. Lekhwiya have been winning the league for the past two seasons and everyone knows how dangerous they are.”
Al Sadd finished with 51 points from 22 matches, which included three defeats and as many draws, while Lekhwiya lost four and drew four.
El Jaish came third with 40, going down 2-1 to Al Rayyan, who finished fourth. In other matches, Umm Salal defeated Al Khor 1-0, Al Gharafa beat Qatar Sports Club 2-0, Al Wakrah pipped Al Arabi 2-1 and Al Sailya edged Kharatiat 2-1.
The football season will conclude in May with the Emir’s Cup. The Heir Apparent’s Cup will begin later this month.
QSL convene to plan for Heir Apparent Cup
Senior management of the Qatar Stars League met at Al Sadd Stadium yesterday as plans for the prestigious Heir Apparent Cup got underway.
QSL Champions Sadd will host this year’s coveted event which begins on Saturday, April 27.
QSL officials, including deputy CEO Hani Ballan and chief commercial officer Abdulrahman al-Dosari, met with officials from the internal security forces and Emiri Guard as preparations were put in place for one of the highlights of the domestic season.
The in-depth briefing session is the first in a succession of gatherings planned to ensure the 19th Heir Apparent Cup runs as smoothly as possible.
The semi-finals between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan, and Lekhwiya and El Jaish will be played on Saturday, April 27. The first match kicks off at 5.15pm with the second match following at 8.30pm.
The final will the take place on Saturday, May 4, at Al Sadd Stadium, with kick-off at 6.45pm.
Ballan said: “The aim of this meeting is to demonstrate how precious this tournament is and how operations will run on the day of the games.
“We also have to plan for the fans leaving the stadium after each match, which is something we will need help from our security forces with.
“With the correct planning this event should, as always, be an excellent example of the highly-prestigious event the QSL is capable of delivering.”
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