Leaders Al Sadd virtually assured themselves of the Expo Stars League title as they thrashed Al Ahli 9-1 at the Al Thumama Stadium on Wednesday. The Wolves are now on 46 points after 20 games with Al Gharafa and Al Rayyan being second and third respectively with 41 points each and would need to win their two remaining matches and hope for Sadd lose both their games for an improbability. Al Ahli are ninth with 20 points.
Baghdad Bounedjah scored a hat-trick for the winners striking in the 69th, 80th & 90+5 minute, while Akram Afif added a brace scoring in the 3rd & 56th minute besides providing three assists. The other Al Sadd goals came from Yousuf Abdurisag (32nd minute), Guilherme Torres (35th minute), Mohammad Abdulla Al Ishaq (Own Goal, 59th minute), and from Ilyes Housni (75th minute). Al Ahli’s consolation goal was scored by Oumar Sekou in the 45th minute.
Adding to Al Ahli’s woes was the sending off of Idrissia Doumbia in the 50th minute after he was shown the red card for injuring Al Sadd’s Mohamed Waad in the eye after they fell down following a challenge for the ball. VAR check made the referee change the initial yellow card decision to red.
Till the incident happened, Al Sadd were leading 3-1.
Meanwhile, Al Duhail overwhelmed Muaither 5-2 at the Grand Hamad Stadium of Al Arabi club on Wednesday. Kenyan Michael Olunga scored a brace in the eighth & 80th minutes, while Almoez Ali (40th minute), Philippe Coutinho (46th minute) and Rashid Al Abdulla (89th minute) got one each. Muaither’s scorers were Hugo Gomes (23rd minute) and Ayman El Hassouni (42nd minute).
Muaither looked to challenge the reigning champions as they bounced back twice to draw parity and the teams went into the break at 2-2, but Al Duhail returned only to pump in three more goals and dash the hopes of the rivals. The win saw Al Duhail improve their tally to 28 points.
The result, however, left Muaither stuck on 14 points in 11th place and in battle with bottom-placed Al Markhiya (also on 14 points) to clinch the relegation play-off spot.
At the Thani Bin Jassim Stadium, Umm Salal came from a goal down to defeat Al Arabi 2-1. Kenji Gorre (63rd minute) and Oussama Tannane (84th minute) got the goals for Umm Salal after Mohammed Al Taaboni had given Al Arabi the lead in the 23rd minute.
With the result, Umm Salal now have 24 points, a relative safe distance away from the relegation zone, while Al Arabi remained on 26 points.
In another match, Al Rayyan eased past Qatar SC 3-0. Rayyan went ahead in the sixth minute after Qatar SC’s Ibrahim Majid put the ball into his own net. Rayyan doubled the lead three minutes later through Rodrigo Moreno, before Achraf Bencharki put the game to bed with a 76th minute strike.