By Sports Reporter/Doha
Star Moroccan striker Youssef El Arabi is well and truly on the way to win the best player award this season after yet another stellar performance for Al Duhail in the QNB Stars League yesterday.
El Arabi produced a scintillating hat-trick as the table-toppers thrashed Qatar Sports Club 6-0 yesterday to move four clear of Al Sadd and Al Rayyan.
Yousef Masakni also excelled for Al Duhail with two goals as Djemal Belmadi’s team, who are yet to lose a match, notched up their 10th win in 12 matches. They now have 32 points, while Al Sadd are second on goal difference with 28 points, with Al Rayyan third also on 28.
El Arabi thus took his tally to 19 goals at the top of the QNB Stars League’s scoring chart, while Msakni is second with 11 with Rayyan star Tabata third on nine.
El Arabi’s goals came in the 37th, 55th and in second half stoppage time as Al Duhail ran riot.
Qatar SC had no clue how to restrict them. The Kings were expected to put up a far better display, having given a good fight before losing their first-phase match by a 2-3 margin and also given their recent good form.
Al Duhail were on the offensive straightaway although they had to wait for a while to open the floodgates.
They promptly surged ahead when El Arabi headed in a Lucas Mendes long cross from the left.
Mohamed Mousa struck just before half-time after rival goalkeeper Jassim al-Hail misjudged the flight of a Nam Tae-Hee lob from the right and Abdulaziz Metwali too fumbled.
Al Duhail pumped in four more goals, including two in stoppage time, after the break. The scoreline would have swelled had it not been for the alacrity of al-Hail and his captain Mohamed Salem.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Tabata fired a brace as Al Rayyan beat Al Khor 3-0 at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.
Mohsine Moutaouali opened the scoring in the 45th minute, but it was the experienced Tabata’s (53rd-minute penalty and 56th) two slick goals that powered Al Rayyan to a convincing win. Tabata now has an overall tally of nine goals this season.
Seven minutes into the game, Al Rayyan goalkeeper Omar Barry blocked Al Khor striker Yusuf Ali’s dangerous shot from inside the box in the game’s first real threatening move.
Striker Sebastian Soria then made a few attempts at the Al Khor goal, but was not successful.
In the 37th minute, Al Rayyan’s South Korean import Myongin Koh charged through the Al Khor defence, but his low shot narrowly missing the goalpost even as keeper Baba Djibril was in no position to stop the ball.
Al Rayyan grabbed the lead in the dying seconds of the first half when Moutaouali made the most of a fumble by Al Khor’s Luciano Castan who lost the ball a few metres away from his own goalline. Moutaouali picked up the ball and flicked it into the net with ease.
Luciano’s bad day continued when he handled the ball off a lob by Soria inside the Al Khor box. Tabata easily converted the resultant penalty.
Soon, the attacking midfielder added another following a cross from Juma al-Alawi.
In the third match for the day, promoted Al Markhiya held formidable Al Sadd to a goalless draw in Week 12 of the QNB Stars League yesterday.
With Al Sadd’s Qatar internationals back for club duty following their Gulf Cup assignment in Kuwait, the match got off to a fast-paced start as Al Markhiya also made quick moves.
In the sixth minute, Al Markhiya’s Rebin Ghareeb showed amazing speed to block a cross by Al Sadd’s Algerian import Jugurtha Hamroun towards teammate Bualem Khoukhi who was stationed inside the box. It would have been an easy defection from close range, but Ghareeb outpaced Khoukhi to stop the dangerous move.
That was before Hamroun created a couple of chances.
Two minutes from the half-time whistle, Al Markhiya captain Bilal Mohammed nearly pulled off a stunner with a snap-header off a free-kick. Bilal’s header slipped past the Al Sadd crossbar.
Four minutes into the second half, Al Markhiya’s Burkina Faso striker Alain Traore whipped a 30M bullet, but it went out after kissing the goalpost.
Minutes later, Al Sadd keeper Saad Al Dossari twice blocked shots that were headed towards the goal.
Al Markhiya’s Ghanaian import Kwame Karikari unleashed a powerful shot past two defenders in the 70th only to see the ball sail above the bar.
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