By Sports Reporter/Doha
Abderrazak Hamdallah’s penalty gave El Jaish a 1-0 victory over Al Wakrah and made Al Rayyan wait at least one more week to confirm their Qatar Stars League title.
The Moroccan scored the game’s only goal in the 72nd minute after Wagner Ribeiro was brought down by Ali Rehema. It was a silly challenge from the Iraqi defender, who should have stayed on his feet and ushered the Brazilian to the byline.
Hamdallah stepped up to calmly place the spot kick in the corner and increase his league tally to 15 goals. The victory means Jaish move on to 39 points – 18 behind Rayyan with six games to play. Rayyan need just one more point to confirm the title, while Jaish need to win all their remaining games and overturn a mammoth goal difference.
Jaish went into the game at Lekhwiya Stadium on the back of a superb AFC Champions League victory over Al Ain, but have struggled for QSL consistency in recent weeks. They were marginally the better side in this encounter, however, and did just enough to strengthen their place in the top four.
Wakrah, on the other hand, remain in danger of getting dragged into a relegation dogfight. The Blue Waves are now just three points from safety and have work to do in order to avoid falling into the bottom two.
Three on the bounce for resurgent Kings
Qatar Sports Club strengthened their survival hopes with a vital 3-0 victory over Mesaimeer. Sebastiao Lazaroni’s men are now just one point behind 12th placed Al Kharaitiyat after making it three wins on the bounce at Seham Bin Hamad Stadium.
Korea Republic international Han Kook-Young was the star man for QSC. He scored two and made another as the Kings produced a dominant second half display against a side which has registered just one victory all season.
QSC struggled to find any fluency in the first half but improved markedly after the break. They took the lead in the 67th minute when Han’s shot deflected in off Abdurahman Samir.
QSC goalkeeper Mohammed Mubarak made a stunning double save to deny Wajdi Bouazzi and Rashed Bastaki, before the home side doubled their advantage with ten minutes left. Han produced a defence-splitting pass and Ali Boujalouf scored with a neat finish. Han then made the points safe just a few minutes later when he toe-poked the ball over the line following a swift break.
Along with Kharaitiyat, Al Wakrah, Al Ahli and Al Khor have all been dragged into the relegation battle thanks to QSC’s recent heroics. Mesaimeer, on the other hand, will have their relegation confirmed unless they win all of their remaining games.
Thriller ends level between Salal and Gharafa
Umm Salal and Al Gharafa shared eight goals in an end-to-end encounter at Seham Bin Hamad Stadium. The Orange Fortress twice threw away a two-goal lead as they chased a win which would have moved them up to fourth. Mounir El Hamdaoui hit a hat-trick for Bulent Uygun’s men but it wasn’t enough to claim all three points.
As it was, Salal will have been happy with a draw after Vladimir Weiss put Gharafa 4-3 ahead with a stunning free-kick in the 77th minute.
Salal took the lead inside a quarter of an hour when Abdurahman Waleed stroked the ball past Abdulaziz Ali after being set up by El Hamdaoui. And the front two combined again to double Salal’s advantage just before the break. This time it was El Hamdaoui on the scoresheet after he followed up Waleed’s parried shot to slot home.
Gharafa got a goal back just before half-time. Weiss played in Thamer Jamal and the Sudanese midfielder smacked the ball home from a tight angle. Salal restored their two-goal lead in the 50th minute. Left-back Rami Fayez hit a pinpoint cross, Waleed chested the ball down and El Hamdaoui prodded the ball home.
But yet again Gharafa hit back quickly. Weiss and Krisztian Nemeth were involved in the build-up and Masoud Shojaei smashed the ball high into the net from inside the area to make it 3-2 in the 54th minute. Fifteen minutes later and Gharafa equalised with a penalty from Nemeth. The Hungarian striker stroked the ball into the corner to set up a grandstand finish.
Weiss then grabbed his first goal for Gharafa to complete a remarkable comeback. The former Lekhwiya man struck a superb free-kick into the top right corner past a flailing Baba Malick.
Weiss’s set piece looked to have reignited Gharafa’s top four hopes but El Hamdaoui was on hand to complete his treble and rescue a point for Salal, who will still be hopeful of claiming a Qatar Cup place.
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