Seven-star Bounedjah routs sorry Al Arabi
August 13 2018 01:02 AM
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Al Sadd’s Baghdad Bounedjah (second from right) in action against Al Arabi during their QNB Stars League match yesterday. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Fierce competition is the very essence of a derby but yesterday Baghdad Bounedjah made a total mockery of that concept.
In an unprecedented show of domination, the Algerian striker took on the role of a one-man demolition squad to power Al Sadd to a 10-1 rout of Al Arabi in the QNB Stars League.
Mostafa Abdulla of Al Arabi had scored an own goal to put Al Sadd ahead in the 14th minute and Akram Afif had consolidated in the 25th.
For almost 20 minutes after that Al Arabi held their own to prevent further misery, but a penalty conceded in the 43rd minute opened the floodgates.
Bounedjah coolly slotted home the shot for his first goal and then, after resumption, struck five more in succession (47, 50, 62, 64, 72). Afif grabbed his second in the 85th minute before Bounedjah rounded off the match with an 89th minute strike for his seventh goal.
It was his second hat-trick in as many matches this season after he had scored three in Al Sadd’s opener against Al Kharaitiyat last week. Yesterday’s feat took his tally to 10 goals to give him a considerable head start in the race to finish as the top-scorer this season.
 “It was unbelievable. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it again,” said Bounedjah, who was one of Al Sadd’s star performers last season in the QNB Stars League and also during the AFC Champions League in which they have qualified for the quarter-finals.
“We could have won the title last year but were beaten in a close race by Al Duhail. However, this time we are determined not to let it slip through our hands,” he warned.
Mustafa Abdulla, who scored the own goal to aid Al Sadd’s cause, made some amends by scoring one for his side in the 34th minute but that must have come as little consolation to him.
But there was no consolation of any kind for Al Arabi goalkeeper Masoud Zarayi who will be haunted by the result for a long time.
Earlier, newly-promoted Al Shahania pulled off a 1-0 win over Al Kharaitiyat  with Argentinian striker Luciano Vazquez scoring the all-important goal in the 27th minute.
Al Shahania, who had lost to holders Al Duhail in the first round, thus opened their account, while Al Kharaitiyat crashed to their second successive loss. They had lost to Al Sadd earlier.
Al Shahania were clearly the better side. They created more chances compared to Al Kharaitiyat whose main bane was wayward shooting.
Nassif al-Bayawi’s wards were not a determined lot and that reflected on their performance.
Vazquez netted the first opportunity created by either side when he chipped in the ball over the head of goalkeeper Ahmed Sofyan from close range. He was well supported by fellow striker Kesse Jean.
The goal woke Al Kharaitiyat up, but it was not enough. They had their best chance five minutes after restart. First, Anwar Diba’s long-ranger was parried by keeper Khalifa Al Dossari. The resultant corner kick, taken by Diba, saw Mohammed Salam spurn a sitter at the goalmouth when he was in an unmarked position.
In between, Kesse wreaked havoc in the Al Kharaitiyat area. He almost doubled their lead towards the end, only to see his shot go wide of the target.
Al Shahania’s Reza Shanbeh found the mark in the 80th minute, but his effort was ruled offside.
Al Kharaitiyat ultimately paid the price for the absence of a sharp shooter.



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