By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Rayyan eased past relegation-threatened Al Kharaitiyat 6-0, while Al Gharafa’s bid to finish in the top four suffered another blow after they were beaten 3-1 by Al Ahli in the QNB Stars League yesterday.
Al Kharaitiyat were never going to pose any problems for the Lions – they have won only one of their 15 matches so far while losing 14 – and sure enough their struggles were plainly evident early on in the match when Ali Fayez scored an own goal in the very first minute.
Al Rayyan captain Rodrigo Tabata, who picked up a loose ball inside the Al Kharaitiyat box, crossed to Sebastian Soria, but Fayez deflected the ball into his own net with keeper Ahmed Sofyan in no position to stop the ball.
Soria (24th minute), Lucca Borges (69th and 84th), Tabata (71st) and Jonathan Menendez (84th) then produced classy goals to complete Al Rayyan’s commanding show.
Al Rayyan doubled their lead through a combined effort from seasoned duo Tabata and Soria. The Al Rayyan skipper curled in a corner kick and Soria, stationed just a few metres away from Al Kharaitiyat goalmouth, back-headed the ball into the net with a short jump.
Al Rayyan went 3-0 up when Lucca headed home from an acute angle off a loopy cross that came his way.
The Lions jumped to a 4-0 cushion following a powerful drive by Tabata off a cross from Soria.
Lucca then drilled in a low deflection from close range off a cross from Menendez, who also netted a goal just a minute later following a cross from Khalfan Ibrahim.
Al Rayyan have 27 points from 15 matches and are in third position, behind leaders Al Duhail and second-placed Al Sadd.
Al Ahli, meanwhile jumped to fourth after their commanding win over Al Gharafa, who were thrashed 8-1 by Al Sadd last week.
Al Ahli have now gone eight matches without defeat, a sensational run for a team who were initially not favoured for a top-four finish.
Mohamed Muntari (first minute), Abdelrehman Mustafa (58th) and Nigel de Jong (83rd) scored the goals for the visitors at the Al Gharafa Stadium, where Amro Seraj (37th) was on target for the home side.
In just the first minute of their Round 15 clash, following a loopy Mohsine Moutaouali cross that landed at his feet, Muntari outpaced his marker and shot the ball into the net for Al Ahli’s first goal. The early strike brought a huge smile to coach Milan Macala.
Al Gharafa equalised when Seraj made the most of a fumble by keeper Ivanildo Rodrigues. Stationed just a few feet away from Santos, who failed to pouch a low cross from the flank, Seraj quickly sent the ball into the net with a low right-foot drive. It was Seraj’s third goal of the season.
A couple of minutes later, Al Gharafa’s Ahmed Alaaeldin failed to send the ball into an open net from close range off a cross from the flank. Just two minutes before the end of first half, Al Ahli’s Mohamed Reza was booked with a yellow for a reckless tackle in his own box.
In the second half, Mustafa helped Al Ahli take the lead with a left-footed drive from inside the Al Gharafa box with only keeper Ali to beat. It was Mustafa’s third goal of the season.
De Jong then fired a bullet from 25 yards out into the net in spectacular fashion to complete the scoring.
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