Al Sadd off to a cracking start in Qatar Stars League
September 16 2016 11:35 PM
al sadd
Al Sadd’s Mohamed Kasola heads the ball to safety during his team’s QSL match against Al Kharaitiyat yesterday. Pictures: Jayan Orma and Othman Iraqi

Sports Reporter/Doha

Baghdad Bounedjah scored once in each half as Al Sadd thrashed Al Kharaitiyat 4-0 in their opening match of the new Qatar Stars League season last night.
Al Sadd, the 13-times champions, whose thunder has been stolen by Lekhwiya of late, scored three of their goals in the second half,  leaving minnows Al Kharaitiyat chasing shadows at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Al Sadd controlled the game from kick off, largely thanks to their talisman and captain Xavi Hernandez who took a leading role in midfield from the first whistle.
The Barcelona and Spain legend helped Al Sadd break the deadlock after 25 minutes when he delivered a
pin-point pass to find Algerian under-23 international Bounedjah, who controlled the ball on his chest before driving it into the back of the net.
Al Kharatiyat went into half-time trailing 1-0 but came out strong in the opening minutes of the second half, having a goal disallowed after just two minutes when striker Jeremy Bokila was deemed offside after poking home from six yards out.
Al Sadd continued to dominate the game and on the 62nd minute. New summer signing Jugurtha Hamroun delivered a through ball to Qatar’s national team captain, Hasan al-Haydoos, who calmly took it around Al Kharatiyat goalkeeper Ahmed Sofyan to make it 2-0.
Just a minute later, Al Sadd nearly made it three but Sofyan made a fingertip save after another pin-point delivery from Xavi which found the head of Ibrahim Majed.
Al Sadd made sure of all three points after a fine solo goal from Ali Asad which saw him drive an 18 yard shot into the roof of the net on the 77th minute mark.
Al Kharatiyat made a late final push, with Domingos forcing a fine save from Al Sadd’s Sadd Abdullah. They also had another goal disallowed on the 84th minute, again for being caught offside.
Al Sadd rounded off a compelling performance after debutant Hossam Kamal set-up Bounedjah in the 92nd minute for his second goal to round off a fine opening day win for the Qatari giants.
In an earlier match, goals either side of half time and some last minute heroics from goalkeeper Baba Malick helped Umm Salal beat Al Khor 2-1 at Qatar Sports Club.
The match started with an early penalty appeal from Umm Salal after Helal Mohammad looked to be tripped in in the box by Khor defender Wellington Souza. The referee, however, was quick to wave for a goalkick which drew early protests from The Falcons’ bench and Head Coach, Bülent Uygun.
Possession was neatly balanced for the majority of the first half but neither side looked able to produce the quality required to penetrate the opposing defence. That was until Umm Salal midfielder Ismael Mahmoud made a darting run down the left wing and drilled an excellent cross which caused Al Khor’s captain, Mostafa Jalal Jafri, to raise an arm and gift Umm Salal a penalty with 28 minutes gone. Yannick Sagbo was quick to step up and send the keeper the wrong way to take a 1-0 lead. Al Khor could have been 2-0 down not long after Sagbo scored from the spot after new summer signing, Alef, on loan from Braga, missed an open goal from five yards out after his header went over the crossbar.
Al Khor nearly went into half time level but had a goal disallowed on the 42nd minute after a clear infringement on Umm Salal’s goalkeeper, Baba Malick. The first half ended 1-0 to Umm Salal.
Al Khor came out strong in the second half, pressing well and keeping possession. The Knights soon got a well-deserved equaliser after Mouhcine Iajour poked home a flick from a corner after Umm Salal’s Baba Malick failed to deal with the set piece.
Hopes of a point for each team didn’t last long, however, as The Falcons scored an excellent counter-attacking goal which saw Helal Mohammad control a long 25 yard ball from midfield before whipping in a lightening cross to Ismail Mahmoud who found himself unmarked on the back post.
Al Khor continued to press for an equalisier and two late chances fell to Al Khor attacker Mason, who put one chance wide in front of an open goal from six yards out and also drew a last gasp save from Umm Salal’s Babba Malick with the final kick of the game, giving  all three points for Umm Salal.

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