Qatar SC hold Al Duhail on Mandzukic debut
January 04 2020 11:49 PM
Al Duhail’s Mario Mandzukic (left) in action during the QNB Stars League match against Qatar SC yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed


Qatar SC held QNB Stars League leaders Al Duhail to a 0-0 draw even as Mario Mandzukic made his debut in Week 12 of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium yesterday.
With Al Duhail’s new star attraction Mandzukic straight into the starting line-up, Qatar SC set out to deny any clear opening from the off and their resolute defending was rewarded as they restricted the rivals throughout.
The former Juventus maestro made a big impression as he brought his experience into the QNB Stars League for the first time. He was unlucky to have an early goal chalked off for a marginal offside decision.
Qatar SC took confidence from that call and they too had a goal disallowed midway through the first half when Sardor Rashidov’s clinical finish was ruled out by the linesman for offside.
The away side went close again when Kayke Rodrigues forced Amine Lecomte into an excellent save from distance, before two quickfire attempts from Yousef Msakni failed to challenge the scoreboard.
In spite of the lack of goals, it was certainly a feisty match as both teams were made to work hard for the few opportunities that were created. Paulo Edmilson and Mandzukic both went close for Al Duhail in the second half, but were unable to make the pressure count.
The clearest opportunity for a match winner came from Kayke when he found himself free in the area and, from an acute angle, executed a glorious chipped shot over the goalkeeper which drifted agonisingly wide of the upright.
A draw was a fair result between the teams and Qatar SC will be the most content as they now have 14 points. Al Duhail climb to 30 points and marginally extended their lead over second-placed Al Rayyan to two points.

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