QNB Stars League – Round 4 Highlights
The QNB Stars League resumed after a two-week break for international competitions. The Round 4 fixtures, played on Saturday and Sunday, saw some teams achieve valuable victories while some other sides did not perform on expected lines.
In general, the Round 4 fixtures were notable for the number of goals (27), the highest number scored so far for a week in this season’s league. Al Duhail outplayed Al Ahli 6-1, Umm Salal defeated Al Arabi 4-1, Al Rayyan beat Al Markhiya by the same margin, Al Sadd put it across Qatar SC 3-1, Al Gharafa blanked Al Khor 3-0 and Al Sailiya overcame Al Kharaitiyat 2-1. it was the first time that the week’s action did not have a drawn result.
Al Duhail still led the standings with 12 points ahead of Al Sadd on goal difference, followed by Umm Salal in the third position with nine points. Al Rayyan jumped to fourth, pushing Al Sailiya down having scored more number of goals even as their goal difference is same (+5).
Al Gharafa leapfrogged to the sixth position with five points, Al Khor are seventh on four and Qatar SC eighth with three points, same as Al Arabi. Al Kharaitiyat occupy the 10th position with one point, ahead of Al Ahli. Al Markhiya stayed rooted to the rock bottom without a single point.
Al Gharafa opened the round’s proceedings with a strong performance over Al Khor. it was their first victory, after their tied matches against Al Ahli and Umm Salal, and defeat to Al Sadd. Al Khor had lost their Round 1 match to Al Rayyan, then defeated Al Ahli and drew with Al Kharaitiyat.
The second match saw Umm Salal produce another strong display to beat Al Arabi, thanks to an inspired performance from Ivorian Yannick Sagbo who struck three goals. Al Arabi could not get their act together and fared far below expectations.
Then, Al Sailiya came back from one goal down to prevail over Al Kharaitiyat, with Wagner Ribeiro playing a key role. Al Kharaitiyat took the lead in the 36th minute against the run of play when Rachid Tiberkanine found the target off a through pass from defender Anwar Diba. Al Sailiya struck back three minutes later as Temurkhuja Abdukholikov evaded his markers and nodded home from a Wagner free-kick from the right. Wagner then hit the winner with a long diagonal shot in the 63rd minute.
Against Al Markhiya, Al Rayyan opened the scoring as early as the second minute through Abderrazzak Hamdallah and that paved the way for The Lions to gain an upper hand in the game.
Then came the Match of the Week, pitting Qatar SC against Al Sadd. The first half was devoid of much action, but for Al Sadd’s goal scored by Morteza Mohammed. The second session was very lively and Qatar SC succeeded in equalising through captain Mohammed Tayeb. After that, substitute Baghdad Bundedjah and Hassan Al Haidous sealed the issue in favour of Al Sadd.
The Round 4’s last game witnessed a large number of goals when Al Duhail had it easy against Al Ahli. Moroccan forward Youssef Al Arabi pumped in four goals to be the top scorer in QNB Stars League with eight goals.