By Sports Reporter/Doha
Karim Boudiaf scored the all-important goal in the 29th minute as leaders Al Duhail defeated hosts Al Arabi in their QNB Stars League Week 13 match yesterday. The narrow win maintained Duhail’s unbeaten run and took their points tally to 35. Action was mostly restricted to the Al Arabi area from the start and a goal was coming any time, with captain Youssef Msakni, spearhead Youssef el-Arabi and playmaker Nam Tae-Hee raiding the rival citadel.
It looked like Al Duhail opened their account in the 16th minute when Nam headed the ball in, but the goal was ruled offside. Despite a defensive approach by Al Arabi, The Red Knights did take the lead around the half-hour mark when Boudiaf headed in a Murad Naji corner from the right, leaving goalkeeper Masoud Zarayi and defenders rooted, for what seemed to be a silly goal.
Attacking midfielder Khalfan Ibrahim was like a one-man army in the Al Arabi attack. His two free-kicks, earned when he himself was fouled on both occasions, were off the mark and a shot that went wide were all that they had to show for their efforts in the first half.
The second half was off to a slow pace, yet Duhail dominated possession. On a day when el-Arabi, the QNB Stars League’s leading scorer with 19 goals, was off-colour, Tunisian attacking midfielder Msakni tested the Al Arabi defence time and again, but to no avail.
Midfielder Ahmed Fathi, who had scored Al Arabi’s equaliser in their creditable 1-1 draw against Al Sailiya in the previous week, played the striker’s role.
However, diminutive Abdullah Hassan caught the eye among the Al Arabi ranks by his timely clearances and interventions as he provided a shield in front of his defenders and against the charging rival attackers.
The scoreline might have swelled had it not been for Abdullah’s alacrity. The Dream Team made a spate of substitutions towards the end in their bid to make a breakthrough.
They missed Syrian striker Mardik Mardikian who sat out due to an injury and Khalfan struggled without a team-mate who could do the finishing.
Duhail almost conceded an own goal when defender Lucas Mendes’ faulty clearance with his head hit the crossbar. Arabi got a last chance to score at the stroke of final whistle, but Diego Jardel sent his free-kick wide.
Fabiano nets winner for
Qatar SC against Markhiya
In another match, Qatar SC came up with an improved display to beat hosts Al Markhiya 1-0 at Al Arabi Stadium.
Striker Patrick Fabiano made his debut in Qatar memorable by netting the winner as early as the fifth minute after evading the challenge from defenders Saleh Badr and captain Bilal Mohammed.
Chances were almost equal in the clash between two bottom-placed sides, but it was Qatar SC who had the last laugh. The Kings moved to 11 points.
Qatar SC fielded their all three winter signings — others being Syrian striker Osama Omri and Iranian attacking midfielder Sijad Mujtaba — for the first time.
On the other hand, Markhiya were without their new recruit, Brazilian attacking midfielder Eric de Oliveira. The strike by Fabiano, who was a leading scorer with Kuwait SC last season, will do them a lot of good in their fight to avoid relegation. Qatar SC’s attacks were mostly aimed at the Brazilian and he struck even before the rivals had settled down.
The game also saw Fabiano and Markhiya spearhead Kwame Karikari miss chances. And Abdulqadir Ilyas, who joined The Oryxes from Al Duhail after the start of this season along with Bilal and midfielder Anas Mubarak from Al Gharafa, could not make any headway after being put through with the ball a few times. Al Markhiya had more possession (58 per cent) and forced more corners (four against Qatar SC’s one), but could not find the target for once.
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