By Sports Reporter Doha
Al Duhail cannot afford to drop more points as they face high-flying Al Wakrah in the QNB Stars League today. The Red Knights have slipped two positions to sixth following their 1-1 draw with Al Rayyan last week, while their main rivals Al Sadd have won three out of three.
Duhail coach Rui Faria, however, was confident that his side can see out the initial struggles and create a winning streak. “Our start to the season was not perfect, for a team like Al Duhail. But in the end, it happens in football. We want to win. The players are doing well on the pitch, the team underwent many changes in the transfer period and we need more time. We want to collect three points. That is always our target, but we could not achieve it in our previous two games,” Faria said.
Al Duhail’s Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia made his return from injury against Rayyan but they missed Tunisian attacking midfielder Yousef Msakni.
They suffered another blow when new striker Mohanad Ali was ruled out for three weeks due to an unspecified injury, with Mohamed Moussa and Sultan al-Brake still recovering from injuries.
“We are still in the beginning of the competition. Many teams will lose points because the competition is stronger this season,” added Faria.
On the other hand, Al Wakrah had registered their second victory, 2-0 against Al Shahania last week and are now fourth in the table. Wakrah coach Marquez Lopez said a great start to the season has given his team confidence of beating Duhail.
“Obviously, we have tough opponents in Al Duhail. But that does not prevent us from trying hard. Our position in the standings is also good, especially after our last win over Al Shahania. Al Duhail are playing well and have good players, but I think we have a good chance to win,” he said
“Our players were the key to our two victories so far and the coach is only helping them. The most important factor is the players and their mentality. Our team is known for our players’ quality, both professional and locals. This is the fact that led us to provide good levels and achieve positive results,” added Marquez.
In another match today, Al Khor run into Al Rayyan at Al Janoub Stadium. Rayyan have had a difficult start to the season, having drawn all their three games and are ninth in the table.
Al Rayyan coach Diego Aguirre feels he side is suffering from lack of goals. “Having drawn the first three games, we will play to win despite the difficulty of the game. We must bring out our best. We need a main striker, but so far there is nothing official, so I can’t talk about this,” he said.
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