Al Rayyan’s perfect start to the season continued at the Al Khor stadium as Michael Laudrup’s side came up against an Al Kharaitiyat eventually running out 3-1 winners.
With an energetic looking forward line Al Rayyan were straight into action with shots from Moutaouali, Viera and Abdulrazaq Hamdullah being denied by the Kharaitiyat keeper Saeed Monfared.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 21st minute after Al Rayyan won a free kick 30 yards out. Captain Rodrigo Tabata stepped up and drilled a free kick that was deflected off the wall past an outstretched goalkeeper, for the Rayyan captain’s third goal of the season.
The Lions were quickly able to double their advantage when Hamdullah won the ball in the centre of the park before spreading it out wide to Moutaouali who played a superbly weighted ball into the area, which was met by Sebastian Soria to poke home.
Al Kharaitiyat started the second half with renewed vigour and, after a couple of early chances, they were awarded a penalty on 62 as Tiberkanine was impeded. Moroccan Midfielder Diba stepped up and confidently scored to bring the game back to life but Al Rayyan soon restored their advantage. Following some neat play in the area, Hamdullah was able to play the ball across the goalkeeper to Soria who tapped in from close range to kill the game off.
The Thunders will take heart from their second half performance but head coach Ahmad al-Ajlani knows that their next fixture against Al Khor holds extra importance. Meanwhile Al Rayyan will go forward in the knowledge that their exciting attack will cause problems for any defence in the QNB Stars League.
Al Sadd win
Looking to improve on last week’s performance, Al Sadd ran out 3-2 winners of the contest against Al Sailiya at the Hamad Bin Khalifa Stadium.
The game was full of chances from the outset with both sides coming close but it was Al Sailiya who opened the scoring off a corner. The ball dropped loose to Abdulkarim al-Ali who drilled the ball through the Al Sadd defence.
Moments later parity was restored as Xavi rose to convert a free header following some smart attacking play down the left hand side by Jugurtha Hamroun.
Not long after Al Sadd had a goal disallowed for offside, Hamroun narrowly beat the offside trap to bear down on goal and fire the ball past Al Sailiya’s goalkeeper. With Al Sadd now in control they were awarded a penalty before the break. However, Hassan al-Haydos saw his strike saved by the watchful Abdraman Aziz.
Into the second half and Al Sadd started to assert their dominance on the game. They were duly rewarded in the 64th minute when Hamroun, beating the offside trap just inside opposition territory, broke into the penalty area and played the ball back to Khouki, who was on hand to record his first goal of the season for the Wolves.
Al Sailiya were offered a lifeline on 83 minutes as Al Sadd ‘keeper, Saad al-Dosari failed to hold onto a shot before bringing down the oncoming player. Temurkhuja Abdulkhoikov stepped up to take the penalty and struck it low into the corner beyond the Al Sadd No.1. Deep into injury time The Peregrines thought they had secured a dramatic equaliser but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Qatar SC pick up first win
At Al Duhail Stadium, Qatar SC registered their first win in the QNB Stars League with a 1-0 win over Al Markhiya.
The game started with both teams sharing the possession of the ball, but the deadlock was finally broken in the 23rd minute with a great effort from the Kings midfielder Michael Babatunde. The Nigerian cut in from the wing and scored with a powerful low shot from 23 yards.
The results leaves Al Markhiya bottom of the QNB Starts League and still searching for their first win of the 2017-18 campaign. Meanwhile Qatar SC continued their impressive start to the campaign and will go into their next fixture against Al Arabi full of confidence.
Action from the QNB Stars League match between Al Sadd (in white) and Al Sailiya (in blue and black) yesterday. PICTURE: Jayan Orma