By Sports Reporter/Doha
As many as 18 goals were scored on a big-scoring day in the QNB Stars League that saw holders Al Duhail, Ooredoo Cup champions Al Sadd and Al Gharafa pick up comprehensive wins yesterday.
While Al Duhail beat Al Kharaitiyat 4-1, Al Sadd registered a 3-1 win over Umm Salal and Al Gharafa won 6-3 against Al Khor in Week 7 of the 2020-21 season.
At Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, Almoez Ali (13th and 40th minutes) scored a double while Ramin Rezaein (37th minute) and Khaled Mohamed (90+1) also got on to the scoresheets as the Red Knights swelled their points tally to 12 with their fourth victory.
Khaldoun Ismail pulled one back in the 55th minute for Al Kharaitiyat, who remained on six points following their fifth defeat.
Al Duhail looked like they were out to make up for the 0-3 loss to Al Gharafa in the previous round and were in attacking mode from the word go.
Karim Boudiaf, Edmilson Junior, Rezaein & Co gave good support to the frontliners. Eduardo Rodriguez was the pick of the players, especially in the first half, even though he could not get into the scoring act. The Brazilian was unlucky on more than one occasion, with him being either off target or thwarted by goalkeeper Shehab Ellethy.
Al Duhail’s other main miss during the opening session was when Abdullah Abdulsalam hit one against the left upright.
Al Kharaitiyat’s only worthwhile attempt was made by their spearhead Rachid Tiberkanine, but that was saved by goalkeeper Mohamed al-Bakri.
Almoez started the scoring by heading in Edmilson’s cross. Rezaein followed it up by nodding home Eduardo’s cross.
The duo of Almoez and Edmilson combined for a second time to produce the team’s third goal.
In the second half, Al Kharaitiyat reduced the margin through Khaldoun, who was assisted by Abdulmajid Anad in the process.
Al Duhail sealed the issue through Under-23 player Khaled Mohamed in stoppage time.
Al Sadd’s 3-1 win over Umm Salal ensures that the Wolves remain top of the QNB Stars League table with 19 points from 7 games.
Akram Afif (35th minute), Santi Cazorla (50th minute penalty), and Hassan Al-Haydos (90th+1 minute) scored for Xavi Hernandez’s side, while Roozbeh Cheshmi (40th minute) netted the lone goal for Umm Salal.
Al Sadd scored after Cazorla’s aerial ball was controlled by Baghdad Bounedjah before it fell in front of Afif, who made no mistake with his finish past Baba Malick.
Five minutes later, Umm Salal replied through a rare foray up front. The Al Sadd defence failed to clear the ball following a free-kick delivery into the box, and Cheshmi bundled it in from close range to level the score.
Al Sadd got back in front after the break. In the 50th minute, Cazorla dispatched a penalty that was awarded for Omar Yahya’s foul on Afif in the box.
Xavi made his first two substitutions in the 61st minute, sending on Abdelkarim Hassan and Hassan al-Haydos in place of Mohamed Waad and Rodrigo Tabata. Al-Haydos would go on to score Al Sadd’s third goal in the first minute of stoppage time, dribbling into the box from the right and finishing past Malick.
Earlier, in the first match yesterday, Al Gharafa overcame Al Khor, winning 6-3 at home boosted by doubles from Under-23 players Homam Ahmed (42nd and 50th minutes) and Ahmed al-Janehi (75th and 90th minutes).
Koo Ja-Cheol (16th minute) and Ahmed Alaaeldin (59th minute) were the other scorers for Al Gharafa.
For Al Khor, Rafael Dos Santos (fourth minute), captain Naif al-Breiki (74th minute) and Leonardo De Souza (79th minute) were the scorers.
Al Gharafa took their tally to 15 points with their fifth victory, while Al Khor suffered their third defeat to be on four points.
It was an open game end-to-end that resulted in a nine-goal thriller.
Al Khor opened the floodgates as early as the fourth minute, but it was Al Gharafa who mostly called the shots throughout.
That Under-23 players Homam and al-Janehi both contributed a double to the team’s big victory underlined the importance Al Gharafa have given to youth development over the last few years.
Another Under-23 player, goalkeeper Salah Zakaria, too had an outstanding game, making a few saves.
The Cheetahs are having a good run, having beaten reigning QNB Stars League champions Al Duhail 3-0 in the last round. Al Gharafa, coached by Serb Slavisa Jokanovic, had finished a creditable fourth in the 2019-20 season.
They had recently reached the semifinals of 2020-21 Ooredoo Cup by beating reigning champions Al Sadd 4-2.
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