QNB Stars League — Round 7 Highlights
The top three teams all won in the seventh round of QNB Stars League even though there were a couple of changes in the first four positions.
Al Duhail’s 4-2 win over Al Khor saw them get back on track after being held by Al Gharafa in the previous round. It also helped them maintain their lead in the standings with 19 points from six victories and one draw.
Tunisian professional Youssef Msakni was the star of the show as he scored two goals and set up another for Luis Martin Junior. In the process, Msakni upstaged his Moroccan strike partner Youssef El Arabi, who did not score a goal for a change yet has 11 to his credit.
Al Khor, playing under new coach Omar Najhi who replaced Frenchman Laurent Banide, only had Madson’s two-goal effort to show. The Knights slipped from ninth to 11th spot.
Al Sadd defeated a fighting Al Ahli 2-1 on the back of Qatar international Hassan Al Haydous’ brilliance that saw him score a goal and assisting Baghdad Bounedjah for the other. But that was not enough for them to stay second as Al Rayyan displaced them after blanking Qatar SC 2-0. Both Al Sadd and Al Rayyan had 18 points and same goal difference (nine), but the latter came second having scored more number of goals (19 as against The Wolves’ 17).
Despite the defeat, Al Ahli remained in eighth position with five points.
Al Rayyan’s easy win over a hapless Qatar SC was inspired by Rodrigo Tabata, who was his usual self by donning the playmaker’s role fully well. He scored their second goal as well, defender Mousa Haroun being the other scorer. And Qatar SC stayed rooted to the bottom with no end in sight for their miserable run.
One of the most notable points was Al Sailiya’s 3-2 defeat of Umm Salal to leapfrog them to the fourth spot. The match was expected to be fought keenly and, indeed, it was. Wagner Ribeiro was once again Al Sailiya’s hero with a double and The Peregrines took their points tally to 15 with five victories, while Umm Salal stayed on 13.
Al Gharafa yet again showed inconsistency while being held by freshers Al Markhiya 1-1. The Cheetahs had done extremely well to draw with formidable Al Duhail by an identical scoreline in the previous round. Nevertheless, Al Gharafa, who now have the most number of draws (four) among all teams, stayed sixth with seven points, while Al Markhiya moved up one place to 10th with five points.
Al Arabi suffered the ignominy of having conceded a last-gasp equaliser against Al Kharaitiyat, but that earned them promotion from 10th to ninth even though they parted ways with Tunisian coach Qais Yaakoubi.
Round 7 saw 20 goals being scored, with Al Duhail vs Al Khor game the highest-scoring (six goals) one followed by Al Sailiya vs Umm Salal (five). Two matches were drawn (Al Gharafa vs Al Markhiya and Al Kharaitiyat vs Al Arabi).
The tournament will resume on 18th November after a two-week break, which will accommodate the third and fourth rounds of QSL Cup.