By Sports Reporter Doha
Sergio Garcia scored the only goal of the match as Al Rayyan held on for a narrow 1-0 win against Umm Salal in a fiesty QSL encounter yesterday.
However the game descended into a farce in the 75th minute when the referee rightly sent off three players who were all involved in an off-the-ball melee.
Chances were few and far between in the first half; the closest Michael Laudrup’s side came was in the 24th minute when Garcia swept in a great cross but no Al Rayyan attacker was on the end of it.
As the tie moved towards half-time, Umm Salal began to regain possession and put pressure on Al Rayyan from set pieces. The best chance of the tie fell to Umm Salal front man Yannack Sagbo, who had a snap shot on the 38th minute that drew a good save from Rayyan keeper Omar Barry.
In the second half, Al Rayyan scored the only game of the tie thanks to their most lively player Garcia.
Captain Rodrigo Tabata whipped in a curved free-kick which flicked off the head of the former Spanish international and nestled into the bottom right hand corner for his fifth goal of the season.
Moments later Umm Salal smacked the cross bar from Brazilian defender Anderson, who had stepped up to take a free-kick.
The QSL champions found their attacking verve as the second half progressed and had a gilt-edged chance to double their advantage thanks to forward Ahmed Alaaeldin. Right back and brother Mohamed Alaaeldin put in a perfect cross. However the Qatar U23 international unexpectedly headed the ball wide from yards out.
The game boiled over on the 75th minute which saw three players leave the pitch with three straight red cards. The referee elected to send off both Víctor Cáceres and Abdulkarim al-Ali of Al Rayyan whilst Sagbo of Umm Salal also saw red for his role in the melee.
Meanwhile, Al Kharaitiyat took on Al Wakrah at the Al Khor Stadium yesterday. Kharaitiyat head coach, Ahmed al-Ajlani got the better of his compatriot Kais Yakoubi as the Thunders won the game 2-1.
Kharaitiyat opened the scoring with a goal in the 33rd minute. Uzbekistan winger Sanzhar Tursonov sent in an inch-perfect cross from the byline towards Anwar Diba who headed the ball into the top left corner to make it 1-0 for the Thunders.
Wakrah had the majority of the possession in the first half but could not capitalise on their chances. Kharaitiyat were more decisive with their chances and ended the first half with a narrow 1-0 lead. In the 57th minute, Kharaitiyat had another chance to score. Diba and Tursonov, the same two players who created the first goal collaborated on this effort as well. However, Diba scuffed his shot from a Tursonov cross and forced a diving save by the Al Wakrah ’keeper Hassan Idriss.
Kharaitiyat then added a second goal to the score sheet as Domingos scored his second goal of the season. Anwar Diba sent in a corner and the unmarked Brazilian defender headed the ball into the goal from close range in the 59th minute.
Al Wakrah fought back with a goal of their own in the 72nd minute. Mohsine Moutouali’s long-range free-kick found Ahmad Koheyl in the six-yard box. The Qatari defender guided the ball into the far side net, finding the keeper, Ahmed Sufyan, on the wrong side.
Al Wakrah could not manage another goal and Kharaitiyat were successful in securing their fourth win of the season which takes them out of the drop zone into ninth place with 15 points.
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