QNB Stars League Week 17 — Al Duhail 5 Umm Salal 0


Al Duhail revelled in yet another goal fest as they fired five past Umm Salal without response on home turf in the QNB Stars League Week 17 opener on Thursday.

Captain Youssef Msakny (14th and 59th minutes), Nam Tae-Hee (10th and 15th), and Luis Martin (fifth) scored the goals as the table toppers ended the game having 64 per cent of the ball.

Al Duhail are now on 45 points as they inched closer to the league title and Umm Salal on 24.

Msakny moved to 18 goals and Nam 10 in the 2017-18 QNB Stars League top scorers’ chart.

Al Duhail had rested key players such as their top scorer Youssef El Arabi and midfielder Karim Boudiaf in view of their AFC Champions League fixture at the UAE’s Al Wahda on 19th February. They had started their Group B campaign on a winning note by beating Iran’s Zob Ahan 3-1 at home three days earlier.

As a result, many reserve players got to play. The Red Knights were still at their menacing best and midfielder Luis Martin, back from an injury lay-off, started the goal glut. Nam and Msakny continued it as they were 4-0 up inside 15 minutes.

Such was their domination that Umm Salal, without suspended Tunisian midfielder Oussama Darragi, initially had no clue as to what was happening.

The Orange Fortress created a chance only after 25 minutes only to see striker Yannick Sagbo send a free-kick over the bar.  

Msakny added another around the hour mark as Umm Salal, who had scored a come-from-behind win over Al Khor in the previous round under new coach Talal El Karkouri, could not do much other than another free-kick by Sagbo late in the game that was parried by goalkeeper Amine Lecomte.