QNB Stars League Week 17 — Al Sadd 5 Al Arabi 1
Striker Hassan Al Haydous led the assault with a hat-trick as hosts Al Sadd defeated Al Arabi 5-1 in Week 17 of the QNB Stars League on Saturday.
The Wolves thus asserted their supremacy over The Dream Team in the Qatar Derby, having won their first-phase match 3-1.
Al Haydous (seventh, ninth and 79th-min penalty), Abdelkarim Hassan (57th) and Baghdad Bounedjah (60th) scored for Al Sadd, who were without in-form midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun, as they kept pace with Al Duhail with 43 points, two behind the leaders.
Diego Jardel gave Al Arabi’s sole reply in the 11th.
Al Haydous took his QNB Stars League tally to 11 goals and Bounedjah eight.
Play was mostly at the Al Arabi area initially and Al Haydous stunned the rivals with his strikes in quick succession.
First, the Qatar international sent in his free-kick, leaving Al Arabi goalkeeper Muhannad Naim stranded as he completely misjudged the flight of the ball.
Al Haydous struck again by placing home a rebound after Muhannad fumbled with a cross from the left by left-back Abdelkarim Hassan.
Jardel immediately controlled the damage by reducing the deficit for Al Arabi with a long-range shot that went in past a diving Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari.
Al Haydous seemed to be at his lethal best and took a shot again soon afterwards, but Muhannad blocked it this time.
Captain Xavi Hernandez, as always, orchestrated Al Sadd’s game and danger man Bounedjah came close on a couple of occasions.
Khalfan Ibrahim tried his best, but could not hold the Al Arabi midfield together.
The game’s pace slowed down a bit after the breather and it was Al Sadd, coached by Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira, most of the way. They added two more goals to make it 4-1 through Abdelkarim and Bounedjah, the former finding the target with a long-ranger and the latter capitalising on a defensive lapse.
With victory secured, Al Sadd pulled out Xavi and Bounedjah, while Al Arabi coach Luka Bonacic added teeth to their attack by replacing Abdullah Marafie with Ghanaian striker Kwame Karikari.
After Al Haydous had a shot just about saved by Muhannad, Al Sadd had an opportunity to make it 5-1 only to see defender Pedro shoot wide in front of an open goal.
Al Haydous then completed his hat-trick by converting from the spot with ease.
Karikari missed a penalty right at the stroke of final whistle by shooting straight to Al Dossari.