By Sports Reporter/Doha
Rodrigo Tabata scored the only goal of the match as Al Sadd pipped title-chasers Al Duhail in the QNB Stars League yesterday.
Tabata, who recently switched from Al Rayyan for his second spell with Al Sadd, netted the all-important goal in the 24th minute at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.
It was a foregone conclusion that the high-voltage battle would be fought fiercely. The star cast on both sides added spice to it.
The defeat was a big setback for Al Duhail as they failed to extend their lead over Al Rayyan with just two matches remaining.
Al Duhail are on 46 points while Al Rayyan are on 45 as Al Sadd moved on to 41 and are placed third.
Al Sadd have been on a roll, beating Al Khor 2-1 and Al Ahli 1-0, ever since the resumption of QNB Stars League with Week 18 action.
It was also a sweet revenge for The Wolves, who had lost 1-4 to The Red Knights in the league’s first leg.
Al Duhail’s Han Kwang-song marked the opening of exchanges with a shot straight to goalkeeper Saad al-Dossari, who was outstanding below the bar.
Al Sadd showed more purpose in the first half, while Al Duhail had relatively more domination in the latter session though they were unlucky.
The only goal came when Tabata placed home a rebound from goalkeeper Mohamed al-Bakri after he was set up by Baghdad Bounedjah following the first attempt, a power-packed angular shot, by Hassan al-Haydos.
Al Sadd almost doubled the lead in the 36th minute, but for Bounedjah sending his shot wide.
After Al Duhail’s Almoez Ali headed over the bar in the 44th minute, Hashim Ali could not connect a Bounedjah pass in injury time. Al-Dossari palmed away an Almoez header in the 58th minute. Soon, Han’s shot hit the goalkeeper’s body.
Al Duhail’s Ismail Mohamed, Mohamed Muntari and Paulo Edmilson too made attempts at the goal.
Both teams effected a couple of substitutions as the game wore on, but it failed to produce a second goal. Meanwhile, Umm Salal and Al Ahli in were locked in a 1-1 draw.
Rasul Bezerra’s goal in the 45th minute gave the lead for Umm Salal against Al Ahli, who were helped by an own goal by The Orange Fortress’ Rami Fayez in the 72nd minute. Umm Salal and Al Ahli now have 17 and 20 points respectively. Al Ahli had beaten Umm Salal 1-0 in the first leg of 2019-20 QNB Stars League.
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