QNB Stars League — Round 8 Stars
The eighth round of QNB Stars League saw many a keen contest, notable team and individual performances, and high-scoring games resulting in the most number of goals (30) scored for a week so far this season. QSL Online highlights some of the key performers.
Xavi Hernandez (Al Sadd)
Spanish star Xavi Hernandez played an instrumental role in Al Sadd’s big victory over Umm Salal, who have one of the best defensive lines among all teams in the QNB Stars League. More importantly, the win helped The Wolves regain the second position on goal difference from Al Rayyan, who had the same number of points. After being in deficit early in the match, Xavi bent it like Beckham for their first goal. The World Cup and European Championship winner then gave a perfect lob for Morteza Mohammed to head in for their third goal.
Nadir Belhadj (Al Sailiya)
Algerian star Nadir Belhadj played a key role in Al Sailiya’s 3-2 win over Al Gharafa. He scored their second goal and played an influential role for the team. His performance assumed much significance as they cemented their position in the top four with victory after Umm Salal slipped. Belhadj, who joined The Peregrines at the start of this season and has represented Qatar’s Al Sadd for many years, is a versatile player who can play in both defence and midfield. Tunisian coach Sami Trabelsi is sure to utilise his abilities more as the league progresses.
Meshaal Abdullah (Al Ahli)
Meshaal Abdullah scored the all-important goal as Al Ahli defeated promoted team Al Markhiya to jump from eighth to sixth position in the QNB Stars League standings with eight points. The Qatar international is noted for his utmost commitment to Al Ahli, for whom he has done the rescue act on plenty of occasions. The Brigadiers’ captain is a prolific scorer as well. He delivers goods even as their professional players fail to fire. Meshaal is playing a key role in Spanish coach Joaquin Capaross’ scheme of things.
Soroush Hossein (Al Khor)
Al Khor are the team who benefited the most after the Round 8 action. They leapfrogged from 11th to eighth position with the three points they earned from their victory over Qatar SC. And Iran international Soroush played a vital role in it. He scored their first goal with a stunning volley from 25 yards out after the ball was cleared by a Qatar SC defender. The attacking midfielder had a good game throughout as well, especially since Al Khor missed the services of key players Reza Shanbeh, Said Brahmi, Khaled Radwan and Saoud Al Khallaqi, all through injuries.
Sebastian Soria (Al Rayyan)
Sebastian Soria yet again proved his worth for Al Rayyan with a dazzling show in their derby against Al Arabi. The Qatar international netted their first goal even before the rivals settled down and then earned a penalty (converted by Rodrigo Tabata) just past the half-hour mark when he was brought down by Al Arabi’s Gaser Zakaria inside the box. Soria’s performance was worth mentioning given that The Lions’ prolific scorer Abderrazaq Hamdallah was rather off-colour on the day even though he also scored. Soria, Tabata and Hamdallah are all on six goals presently.
Ismail Mohammed (Al Duhail)
Al Duhail are studded with many star players such as the league’s top scorer Youssef El Arabi, Nam Tae-Hee and Youssef Msakni. No wonder, El Arabi struck a hat-trick and Msakni as well as Nam a brace in their big victory over Al Kharaitiyat. However, Ismail Mohammed stood out with his distinctive style of play in the fast-paced match. The Qatar international assisted four of The Red Knights’ eight goals to earn widespread praise. And his team stood on top of the standings with 22 points.