QNB Stars League Week 19 — Al Gharafa 6 Al Rayyan 1


Dutch attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder played an influential role as hosts Al Gharafa recorded a comfortable 6-1 victory over Al Rayyan in Week 19 of the QNB Stars League on Thursday.

Sneijder scored in the 15th (penalty) and 25th minutes, and provided the assists for the goals by Abdelaziz Hatem (22nd), Diego Amado (54th) and Mehdi Taremi (62nd). Muad Hassan rounded off The Cheetahs’ tally in the 90th.

Abderrazzaq Hamdallah found the mark for Al Rayyan in the 27th minute to stay as third in the top-scorers’ list with 16 goals.

Al Gharafa showed purpose from the start and had more of the ball, with Sneijder orchestrating their game. Obviously, they were spurred on by their new position (fifth) in the table.

Al Markhiya’s 3-2 victory against Al Gharafa last week was overturned by the Qatar Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee and the latter was awarded a 3-0 win for breach of rules regarding fielding resident players in the QNB Stars League matches.

Al Gharafa, who had Qasim Burhan returning to guard their goal, are now fourth with 29 points. Al Rayyan remained third on 39 points. 

In hindsight, more than Al Gharafa’s performance, it was the lack of application on the part of Al Rayyan players that led to their big defeat despite having 54 per cent of possession.

Playmaker Rodrigo Tabata was off-colour and that reflected on their overall game.  

After being 5-1 up, Sneijder was taken off the field in the 74th minute and was replaced by Amro Seraj.