QNB Stars League Match Report - Al Sadd 3 Qatar SC 1
Al Sadd overcame their QSL Cup hiccups, when they lost both matches during the break, and continued their winning run in the QNB Stars League with a clinical 3-1 victory over promoted side Qatar SC on Sunday night.
Morteza Mohammed (23rd minute), substitute Baghdad Bundedjah (61st) and Hassan Al Haidous (85th) were on target for Al Sadd. Captain Mohammed Tayeb (58th) brooked Qatar SC’s only response.
The Wolves thus kept pace with leaders Al Duhail with 12 points. However, the Red Knights, who too won on the night, stayed on top of the standings after the completion of four rounds on goal difference. Al Duhail have a goal difference of +10 as against Al Sadd’s +7.
Al Sadd undoubtedly showed more purpose once they settled down following Qatar SC’s opening forays. The Kings forced three corners in the first 15 minutes, but lacked finishing. They opted for long passes, but Al Sadd defenders, led by Pedro Miguel, held firm and thwarted the rival onslaught time and again.
In hindsight, the midfield and frontline let Qatar SC down. That their only goal was scored by a defender asserts this fact. They obviously lacked a playmaker with the calibre of ex-Barcelona and Spain great Xavi Hernandez, who once again orchestrated the Al Sadd midfield.
Al Sadd’s Algerian forward Jugurtha Hamroun had a field day despite the fact that he only came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. He was the livewire, often fed by Xavi, until Bounedjah replaced Ahmed Sayyar at the start of second half in their bid to bolster the attack after going into the breather with a 1-0 lead.
The remnants of a nagging injury, which kept him out of the first three league games, were still evident in Bounedjah’s movements. Yet, he proved his worth with a superbly-taken long shot after Qatar SC had equalised, with Tayeb placing home an Ali Jasemi corner from the right.
Such was Algerian Bounedjah’s touch of brilliance that he created panic among the Qatar SC defenders a few more times. In came Bounedjah and his compatriot Hamroun’s workload decreased as Boualem Khoukhi invariably played the role of an onlooker.
On Qatar SC’s part, Michael Babatunde, Bruno Gallo and Fahad Khalfan all tried their best, but that was just not enough to stop Al Sadd.