By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Rayyan defeated Al Ahli 4-1, while Al Sadd beat Al Shahania 3-1 in the second round matches of the Ooredoo Cup Friday. Rodrigo Tabata (37th minute), Sebastian Soria (48th), Khaled Ali (82nd) and Abdulaziz Hazaa (84th) scored for Al Rayyan as they moved to the top of Group A table with six points. Captain Nabil El Zhar had put Al Ahli ahead as early as the fourth minute. Rayyan had defeated Al Shahania 3-0 in the opening round. Al Ahli stayed on three points that they earned from their first-round victory over Umm Salal by a 2-0 margin.
Possession was even, though Al Rayyan created more opportunities and gained from them.
Al Rayyan were slow off the blocks and it was Al Ahli who dominated the early exchanges. But once The Lions settled into their stride, The Brigadiers had to play second fiddle to them.
After going down by El Zhar’s goal, Rayyan grew steadily and equalised through Tabata as the teams took the half-time break on level terms.
Soria, who had a good game, took Rayyan ahead soon after restart by being spot-on with his header.
Then, it was turn of substitutes to swell Rayyan’s tally. Khaled made it 3-1 with a solo effort. A couple of minutes later, Abdulaziz Hazaa rounded off the tally with another header.
Al Sadd got their campaign up and running, thanks to a comprehensive 3-1 victory against Shahania at the Al Khor Stadium. Al Sadd’s goals were scored by Rami Suhail (seventh minute), Abdulaziz al-Ansari (34th minute) and Talal Bahzad (64th minute). Aldoukali al-Baoure was on the scoresheet for Shahania in the 74th minute.
Coming into the match with no points on the board for either side, an early goal would prove to be vital as they sought progress. Al Sadd were able to get the good start they required as they quickly earned the lead inside seven minutes when Rami rose highest at the back post to meet a corner and headed the ball past Ebrahim Mordou from a difficult angle.
Al Shahania responded well and were unfortunate not to score with a couple of very good chances shortly after. First, Aldoukali flashed a shot just wide, before Abdulla Ali hit a spectacular volley from outside the area, which demanded a great save from Yousef Balideh in goal.
In spite of the pressure, Al Sadd’s quality shone through later in the half as they doubled their lead, thanks to an exquisite passage of play. Rami chipped the ball over the last line of defence, directly into the path of al-Ansari, who emphatically finished into the far corner.
The game was effectively over midway through the second half when Abdelkarim Hassan went on a teasing run before laying off the ball to Talal on the edge of the area and his sweet strike found the corner of the goal.
Al Shahania got some rewards for their endeavours when they were awarded a penalty late on after Aldoukali was brought down inside the box. He picked himself up to grab a consolation, but it was not enough to get his team back into the match.
In another Group A match Friday, Al Wakrah played out a goalless draw with Umm Salal at the Al Ahli Stadium. Wakrah now have four points and Umm Salal one.
Wakrah slightly dominated the exchanges in the first half and forced five corner kicks as against Umm Salal’s one. Mohamed Benyettou and Meshaal Abdullah led Al Wakrah’s charge, with Omar Ali in the supporting role. Benyettou had two chances, but came up with feeble attempts. First, it was a header straight to goalkeeper Muhannad Naim and then an angular shot, which was also saved by the keeper.
Omar had a first-time shot saved by Muhannad. With regular strikers Yannick Sagbo and Mahmoud al-Mawas missing in action, Umm Salal’s attacks lacked bite. Murad Naji came closest to scoring after 15 minutes, only to see his grounder being parried by Al Wakrah goalkeeper Hassan Idriss.
Al Wakrah continued to have an edge in the second half. In the 71st minute, Benyettou sent his on-the-turn shot against the right upright and Jassim al-Jalabi skied the rebound. They brought in Sanchez Isaias and Faisal Abdulla to rev up the attack.
The Umm Salal goalkeeper was kept busy and Faisal tested him with a first-time shot in the 83rd minute, off a cross from the right by al-Jalabi, in what looked like the winning goal. The stalemate remained and the teams shared the spoils.
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