QNB Stars League — Week 13 Highlights
The QNB Stars League’s Week 13 fixtures, played over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, witnessed three big-margin wins, one draw and two narrow victories.
Al Sadd smashed six past Al Sailiya without reply, while Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa both won 4-2 against Al Kharaitiyat and Umm Salal respectively.
Al Duhail and Qatar SC defeated Al Arabi and Al Markhiya respectively by an identical score of 1-0.
The first seven positions remained unchanged and Al Duhail maintained their unbeaten run with 35 points, with defensive midfielder Karim Boudiaf netting their all-important goal when the league’s top scorer Youssef El Arabi (19 goals) was slightly off-colour.
Captain Youssef Msakni and playmaker Nam Tae-Hee tried their best, but could not find the mark.
Al Arabi’s loss saw them slip from eighth to 10th and they stood on 10 points.
Al Sadd moved to 31 points, the same as Al Rayyan, with a 6-0 win over fourth-placed Al Sailiya and increased their goal difference with third-placed Al Rayyan to +6 from the previous week’s +2.
Algerian midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun played as striker in the company of Hassan Al Haydous as The Wolves continued to miss the services of injured Algerian ace Baghdad Bounedjah. Hamroun did not fail Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira and netted two goals to take his tally this season to six to be on par with team-mates Al Haydous and Bounedjah in a coincidence.
Al Sailiya, nevertheless, stayed fourth on 20 points, one ahead of Umm Salal, who too lost. The Peregrines now have gone winless for five matches.
Al Rayyan had mainly attacking midfielder Mohsine Moutaouali to thank for their win despite facing a strong fightback by Al Kharaitiyat towards the end.
The Moroccan had a subdued first phase where he was mostly used as a substitute as part of coach Michael Laudrup’s strategy and it seems he is compensating for all that.
He had scored in their win over Al Khor as well in the previous week. Al Kharaitiyat (nine points) moved down from 10th to 11th.
Al Gharafa’s victory was noted by Dutch star Wesley Sneijder’s first goal in Qatar. Othman Al Yahri was the star of their show with one goal and an assist. The Cheetahs moved to 17 points with the back-to-back victory and remained sixth.
Al Ahli stayed seventh on 15 points after managing to hold Al Khor 2-2 with a last-gasp goal by striker Mohsin Al Yezeedi in an entertaining game. Al Khor jumped one place from ninth with 11 points.
Qatar SC made a big leap, from the very bottom to ninth in the table with 11 points. Brazilian striker Patrick Fabiano’s early goal did much damage to an Al Markhiya side who are back to the basement on eight points.
The Kings fielded all three winter signings — others being Syrian striker Osama Omri and Iranian attacking midfielder Sijad Mujtaba — for the first time.
A total of 24 goals were scored compared to 18 in the previous week.