By Sports Reporter/Doha
Sadd beat Al Rayyan 4-0 in the Qatar Clasico to extend their lead to
four points in the QNB Stars League yesterday. Earlier reigning
champions Al Duhail dropped two points after being held to a goalless by
draw by Al Gharafa.
Al Sadd had won the Qatar Clasico against Al Rayyan in the first leg by a 5-0 margin. Baghdad Bounedjah (33rd minute), Abdelkarim Hassan (35th), Akram Afif (62nd-min penalty and 72nd minute) scored the goals as Al Sadd moved to 44 points, four ahead of Al Duhail and 14 more than Al Rayyan.
It was Al Sadd’s 14th victory in the 2018-19 season QNB Stars League, the most by any team, while Al Rayyan suffered their third defeat. The 76th-minute red card to striker Sebastian Soria, for second booking, made matters worse for Al Rayyan.
Al Sadd’s Gabi Fernandez too was sent off in the 82nd minute for fouling Khalfan Ibrahim in the ‘D’. In front of a large crowd at the Al Sadd Stadium, which wore a festive look for the big date in Qatar football with Fan Zone among other activities, the hosts meant business throughout.
Al Sadd took the lead through tournament top scorer Bounedjah who slotted home the rebound from Fahad Younis who blocked Gabi’s shot. The lead was doubled two minutes later through Abdelkarim who headed in a corner kick taken by Akram as The Wolves took the half-time break with a two-goal cushion. Captain Hassan al-Haydos had a shot hit against the crossbar in the 19th minute. At the other end, Al Rayyan’s Lucca Borges’ shot was blocked by Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad al-Dossari a couple of minutes later.
After one hour, Al Sadd made it 3-0 when Akram converted from the spot after referee Khamis al-Kuwari awarded a penalty, awarded for Koh Myong-Jin pulling down Pedro who chased a free-kick taken by Akram. Akram rounded off the tally with his second goal of the night following a Bounedjah assist.
Earlier, Al Gharafa and Al Duhail played out an entertaining goalless draw. However, the result dented a blow to Al Duhail’s bid to retain the title as they suffered their fourth draw to lag behind leaders Al Sadd. Al Duhail moved to 40 points and Al Gharafa 19.
Al Gharafa started off briskly and earned a corner kick soon after the start, only to see Ahmed Alaaeldin head the ball straight to goalkeeper Amine Lecomte off a kick taken by Abdulaziz Hatem. However, it was Al Duhail who had more chances and ball possession once they settled down. While captain Karim Boudiaf sent a wayward shot, new Japanese recruit Shoya Nakajima and team’s top scorer Yousef El Arabi came close to scoring with their attempts. Qatar’s Asian Cup triumph fame Bassam al-Rawi almost put Al Duhail in the lead when he sent a free-kick slightly over the bar as the first half drew to a close. Al Gharafa were more in the game in the second half and Alaaeldin tested Lecomte with a powerful, rising shot from top of the box around the hour mark.
Al Duhail, in their bid to intensify the attack, brought in Ali Afif in place of Luis Martin and then Paolo Edmilson replaced striker Mohamed Muntari. The move looked fruitful as Edmilson found the net in the 70th minute off a counter-attack, but referee Abdulhadi al-Ruaile ruled the goal offside after referring to Video Assistant Referee. Ali Afif came up with a feeble shot and Edmilson beat goalkeeper Yousef Hassan, who had a good game, in the 86th minute, but Al Gharafa defender Ilyas Ahmed saved the ball at the goalline.
Al Duhail’s new signing and Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia then headed the ball straight to the goalkeeper off a corner kick in the 90th minute as the stalemate continued at the Al Gharafa Stadium.
Edmilson was more enterprising as Nakajima and El Arabi both had a subdued game. The result was a big consolation for Al Gharafa, who had lost to Umm Salal in the previous round.
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