Eight-time champions Qatar Sports Club face an uphill battle to stay in the top flight when they take on champions Al Rayyan in a crucial Qatar Stars League match today.
Ever since they won the last of their eight QSL titles in 2003, QSC have been overtaken by teams like Al Sadd, Lekhwiya, El Jaish and Al Rayyan, but rarely have had they encountered a crisis where their very survival is at stake.
For a team that finished in the top four in 2014-15, their performance this season has been dismal with just 20 points from 21 matches, and with five games remaining, they need to finish above Al Kharaitiyat and Al Ahli, who are marginally better placed with 22 point each. Mesaimeer, who only have five points so far, have been already relegated.
Qatar Sports Club’s problems were compounded when they lost to Al Khor last week after a run of three straight wins and coach Sebastiao Lazaroni wants them to be at their best against Al Rayyan, who last week took the title with five games to spare.
“After the last game, Qatar Sports Club are in a tough position and now we are in need of something special from the team. We need to give the best performance we can to get a good result against Al Rayyan,” Brazilian Lazaroni told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
Lazaroni added that the key to keeping Al Rayyan at bay is to hold on to the ball as long as possible.
“Rayyan play 3-4-3 combination that means we have to control possession in order to get something out of this game. We need to give more than hundred percent in order to succeed,” added the Brazilian.
Meanwhile, Al Rayyan coach Jorge Fossati said his team won’t be complacent even though they have wrapped up the title.
“Even though we have won the league, we can’t give fifty percent for some matches and seventy-five percent for others. Instead we should give a hundred percent against each and every team,” said the Uruguayan tactician.
He said QSC could be dangerous given the situation they are in.
“Tomorrow’s game against Qatar Sports Club is important because Qatar Sports Club is not having a good season and they are fighting for the life of the club.”
Fossati added that he wants his team to create a QSL record of the most points gained in a season.
“We have the opportunity to make the best league finish in the history of Qatar. It’s not our obligation but we must strive for it,” said the Uruguayan.
He also praised his team’s efforts so far, saying their target was to win the Qatar Cup and the Emir Cup before preparing for the next season.
Related Story