Reigning champions Al Sadd continued their winning streak by beating Qatar SC 2-0 in the QNB Stars League at the Qatar SC Stadium on Saturday.
Akram Afif (67th minute) and Ahmed al-Saeed (90+9 minute) scored the goals as Al Sadd raised their tally to 38 points in third place, while Qatar SC stayed on 26 points in sixth place. The match started off strongly and Raoul Sanda almost gave Qatar SC the lead in the eighth minute, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barshim.
Both teams had control in the first half and Qatar SC relied on organised attacks by Jassim al-Jalabi, Bashar Resan, Sanda, Javier Pastore and Javi Martinez, who had a chance in the 23rd minute, but his shot went past the left post of Al Sadd’s goal.
Qatar SC goalkeeper Sataa al-Abbasi prevented Moroccan striker Ayoub El Kaabi from taking his team ahead after Musaab Khader went in through the middle of rival defence and the ball reached El Kaabi, who fired a powerful shot that al-Abbasi saved. Both sides many attempts unsuccessfully as the first half ended goalless. Akram came up with a powerful shot in the 55th minute, but his attempt was thwarted by the Qatar SC goalkeeper. Akram was not to be denied some time later as he found the mark with a wonderful shot from the edge of the penalty area, which went into the far left corner of the Qatar SC goal.
In the last minutes, Al Sadd played with great balance between defence and attack even as Qatar SC intensified their attacks. The Wolves were rewarded by another goal as al-Saeed struck from close range deep into stoppage time.
“It wasn’t an easy game, but we managed to score thanks to Akram’s goal, which gave us a much-needed boost until we added the second goal by Ahmed,” Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham said.
“The team gained three crucial points, which will be valuable for the upcoming stage of the league.”
Umm Salal snatch valuable win over Al Markhiya
Umm Salal recorded a valuable 3-2 victory over Al Markhiya in at the Al Duhail Stadium on Saturday. Abdullah Khafifi (31st minute), Ismail Ibrahim (59th minute) and Aleksa Vukanovic (71st minute) scored the goals for Umm Salal, while Ayoub Assal (35th minute) and Driss Fettouhi (69th minute penalty) were Al Markhiya’s scorers. Umm Salal thus moved on to 16 points, whereas Al Markhiya remained on 18 points.
Both teams fought it out from the outset with an aim to move to get valuable points and move away from the last positions.
In the third minute, Al Markhiya almost scored a goal after a cross from Jameel al-Yahmadi, but Umm Salal’s Khafifi skilfully evaded the danger conceding a corner kick. In the 16th minute, Al Markhiya suffered a setback when Khaled Radwan was sent off with a direct red card for charging Umm Salal’s Yassin al-Bakhit.
However, the numerical shortage did not affect The Oryxes much.
Umm Salal, meanwhile, took the lead through Khafifi past the half-hour mark and Al Markhiya struck back soon through Assal.
In the 42nd minute, Umm Salal coach Talal El Karkouri replaced Abdulrahman Raafat with new Serbian professional Aleksa even as the first half ended 1-1.
Umm Salal went ahead a second time through Ismail Ibrahim, who came up with a superb header. Al Markhiya did not give up and attacked strongly, and were able to draw parity again, through Moroccan Fettouhi from the penalty spot.
The excitement continued and The Orange Fortress struck a decisive blow on Al Markhiya through Aleksa, whose header found the target.
Al Sadd players celebrate their victory over Qatar SC in the QNB Stars League match on Saturday.