Al Khor and Al Shahania are all set for the Play-Off to determine who will earn the right to play in the 2021-22 season QNB Stars League. It will be played at the Qatar SC Stadium on 4th May, 2021. The kick-off is at 22:00.
The Play-Off pits the 11th-placed team in the QNB Stars League (Al Khor) against runners-up (Al Shahania) in the Second Division of 2020-21 season.
The losers will play in the Second Division in the forthcoming season.
The match regulations stipulate that in the event of a tie at the end of regular time, an extra time of 30 minutes divided into two halves will be used. If the game is still tied, penalty shoot-out will be enforced.
Al Khor will be keen to stay in the First Division, where they are regulars. This is the second successive season that The Knights are featuring in the Play-Off. They had defeated Al Markhiya, who were then Second Division runners-up, last time by a 2-0 margin and thus remained in the QNB Stars League.
However, Al Khor could finish only in the 11th position this time too with 17 points (three victories, eight draws and 11 defeats). Their goal difference was -25 (17 goals for and 42 against).
On the other hand, Al Shahania will also be eager to be back in the top flight. They had lost to eventual champions Al Shamal in the decisive Second Division match and the latter made it to next season’s QNB Stars League.
Al Shahania finished second in the eight-team Second Division with 45 points on completion of 21 rounds of action, the same as Al Shamal, but were placed behind on goal difference (+17 as against Al Shamal’s +19).
Al Shahania had won a game more than Al Shamal, taking their total tally to 14 victories. They drew three matches and lost four, scoring 39 goals and conceding 22.
They had the best attacking line-up too compared to Al Shamal (13 wins, six draws and two defeats), who scored 33 goals and conceded 14.
The players of Al Khor and Al Shahania have prepared well for the Play-Off and the inaugural QFA Cup was a good opportunity for both coaches, German Winfried Schafer of Al Khor and Qatari Nabil Anwar of Al Shahania, to test their wards’ readiness for the game even though both teams exited the ongoing tournament in the first round.
It may be noted that when Al Khor and Al Shahania faced off in the 2019-20 season QNB Stars League, they had played out a 2-2 draw in both legs.