By Sports Reporter/ Doha
Fetfatzidid, Kobayashi and Brahmi score for Al Khor, who were in a play-off for the second successive year
Al Khor defeated Al Shahania 3-1 in the play-off at the Qatar SC Stadium on Tuesday night to retain their place in the QNB Stars League next season. Al Shahaniya will remain in the Second Division in the forthcoming season.
The play-off pitted the 11th-placed team in the QNB Stars League (Al Khor) against runners-up (Al Shahania) in the Second Division of 2020-21 season. Giannis Fetfatzidid (second minute), Yuki Kobayashi (20th minute) and Saeed Brahmi (77th-minute penalty) scored the goals as an aggressive Al Khor wrapped up a commanding performance. Abdulaziz al-Yahri (86th minute) scored for Al Shahaniya.
Al Khor underlined their intention when they opened the scoring in the second minute of what turned out to be a fast-paced clash all the way through.
Al Khor’s Ismail Elhaddad, after receiving a long cross, broke into the Al Shahania box and, following a short dribble, clipped a loopy cross towards the goal. Al Shahania’s Noor Rahman turned saviour for his side as he headed the ball away from the goalline.
But the euphoria of the save lasted barely a second as Al Khor skipper Fetfatzidid charged into the Al Shahanhia box with lightning speed to smash a volley into the net with a slick left-footed drive that left goalkeeper Ebrahim Mordou unable to stop the ball.
Five minutes later, Al Shahania’s Mohamed Bahramen – standing on the edge of the Al Khor box – got space and time to find the net with his powerful drive – following a cross from the flank – but his shot was blocked by an Al Shahania defender. Al Khor then jumped to a 2-0 lead with another slick field goal. Elhaddad, after receiving a pass on the flank, clipped a neat cross to Helal Mohamed, who charged ahead with the ball towards the Al Shahania flag post. With nobody marking him, Helal clipped a neat cross to Japanese midfielder Kobayashi who drilled home a shot between the legs of the goalkeeper for his side’s second goal.
On the half-hour mark, Al Shahania nearly pulled off their first goal – off a direct free-kick – but Nigel de Jong’s curling shot was deflected away by Al Khor keeper Baba Djibril who dived to his left to flick the ball away.
Six minutes later, Al Khor’s Elhaddad found himself with no marker inside the Al Shahania box, but his clip from close range lacked finish as the ball slipped away from the goal.
Seven minutes into the second half, Birahim Gaye of Al Shahaniya found teammate Pasco Jesus with a lop pass near the Al Khor box. Pasco charged into the Al Khor box but his shot from close range was deflected away by keeper Baba Kane.
In the 70th minute, Al Shahania’s Birahim Gaye produced a snap-header off al-Yahri’s pass, but the ball narrowly missed the target. Moments later, Gaye found Pasco with a neat low cross, but the Al Shahania midfielder missed the goalpost to the right of the goalkeeper.
Al Khor scored their third goal off a penalty by Said Brahimi, who was brought down by Mostafa Jalal. And Brahimi easily converted from the spot. Al-Yahri scored Al Shahania’s only goal with a long-range shot that hit the right post and went into the net.
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