By Sorts Reporter
Newly-crowned Amir Cup champions Al Sadd on Tuesday rallied from a goal down to beat Umm Salal 3-1 and stay on top of the QNB Stars League (QSL).
The second day of the Week 7 matches on Tuesday also saw Al Rayyan securing maximum points after a 4-2 victory over Al Sailiya with James Rodriguez opening his goal account in Qatar. Al Gharafa thrashed Al Khor 5-0 after Cheick Diabate’s brilliant hat-trick in yesterday’s other match.
At Al Wakrah Stadium yesterday, Umm Salal opened the scoring through Yaseen Bakhit in the sixth minute, but Al Sadd quickly turned things around by scoring almost at will.
Akram Afif (13th minute), Santi Cazorla (29th minute) and Andre Ayew (49th minute) found the net for Al Sadd.
The seventh successive victory retained Al Sadd’s (21 points) three points lead over second placed Al Duhail.
Umm Salal underlined their intentions when Isael Barbosa found Bakhit with a neat cross inside the Al Sadd box.
Bakhit dribbled past defender Pedro Miguel and slotted the ball into the net from close range to give his side an early lead.
Afif leveled the score after he drilled a low shot past Umm Salal keeper Khalifa Aboobacker following an assist by Cazorla.
A minute before the half-hour mark, a Cazorla-Afif 1-2 saw the Spaniard expertly drill a low shot past the keeper with ease for Al Sadd’s second goal. Four minutes into the second half, Al Sadd went 3-1 up when Ayew stretched out with his left foot to drive home from close range.
At Al Gharafa Stadium, Yohan Boli (49th and minute), Mowafaq Awad (71st and 89th minutes) and Rodriguez (74th minute) scored the goals for Al Rayyan before substitute Ramin Rezaein (86th-minute penalty) and Ahmed Sebaie (88th minute) struck for Al Sailiya.
Al Rayyan, who had lost to Al Sadd in tie-breaker in the Amir Cup final last Friday, moved on to nine points with their second victory. Soon after restart after a barren first half, Al Rayyan took the lead through Boli, whose header landed in the rivals net.
Al Sailiya’s grip on the game gradually faded and Al Rayyan took advantage of the situation by scoring two goals inside three minutes. First, Mowafaq came up with an opportunistic strike and then Colombian star Rodriguez struck his first goal in Qatar with an easy effort.
On 80 minutes, Boli sent his header narrowly over the bar.
Towards close, Al Sailiya reduced the margin twice, through Ramin, who was spot-on with a penalty kick, and then Ahmed Sebaie.
Later at Al Gharafa Stadium, hosts thrashed Al Khor after goals from Gabriel Pires (20’), Diabate (36, 45+1, 75’), Moayad Hassan (43’) to move on 12 points.
Al Sadd beat Umm Salal 3-1
Al Rayyan beat Al Sailiya 4-2
Al Gharafa beat Al Khor 5-0
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