QNB Stars League Week 9 Match Report — Al Sadd 2 Al Duhail 4


Al Duhail got the better of hosts Al Sadd 4-2 in a high-scoring entertainer in Week 9 of the QNB Stars League on Friday. The Red Knights continued their unbeaten run and have 25 points as against The Wolves’ 21.

The much-awaited encounter between the top two title contenders at the Al Sadd Stadium had all ingredients of a thriller. The game was played at a fast pace too.

Moez Ali (sixth minute), Youssef El Arabi (20th), Bassam Al Rawi (72nd) and Nam Tae-Hee (89th) scored for the winners, while Baghdad Bounedjah (12th) and substitute Hassan Ahmed (80th) gave Al Sadd’s replies.

El Arabi continued to top the scoring chart with 15 goals. Al Duhail’s Youssef Msakni played the captain’s role to perfection only to be unlucky not to have scored despite testing Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari time and again, especially in the second half. In fact, Saad was more busier than his Al Duhail counterpart Khalifa Abubacker.

Al Duhail straightaway went into attacking mode and were rewarded when Moez pounced on a mis-pass by Ali Asad. The lead was shortlived when Baghdad tapped home a Hassan Al Haydous cross from the right. The Algerian yet again proved how dangerous and opportunist a striker he can be.

Al Sadd now had an upper hand as the equaliser spurred them on. However, Al Duhail’s second goal came out of the blue, off a counter-attack. Msakni, instead of taking the shot after being put through in front of the goal, cut the ball to the right for El Arabi to score.

Nam, Luis Martin and Ismail Mohammed played the supporting roles for Al Duhail, while Xavi Hernandez and Jugurtha Hamroun pulled the strings for Al Sadd in the midfield.

A spate of fouls followed as the action hotted up and the teams had an almost equal share of ball possession after an hour’s play.

Even as Al Sadd vigorously pursued a second equaliser, the rivals made it 3-1, with Bassam coming up with a long-range stunner. The goal put a smile on the face of Al Duhail’s Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi even as his opposite Jesualdo Ferreira from Portugal sported a disappointed look.

Hassan, who replaced Ali Asad in the 71st minute, reduced the margin by slamming home a rebound after Khalifa blocked Hamroun’s shot. However, Nam sealed the issue by taking advantage of a disorganised Al Sadd defence with one minute of regulation play and four minutes’ stoppage time remaining.