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The excitement continued in Week 18 of the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League, which witnessed very exciting results, especially in the ongoing struggle for the lead, as Al Sadd managed to establish their feet at the top, Al Gharafa second, Al Wakrah advanced to third and Al Rayyan fourth.

The struggle to escape relegation is still intense, with points at the bottom of the rankings being close together.


Al Sadd bt Muaither   4-2

Al Duhail bt Al Shamal        3-1

Al Ahli drew Al Arabi         1-1

Umm Salal lost to Al Wakrah       0-2

Al Markhiya lost to Qatar SC       1-2

Al Gharafa bt Al Rayyan     3-0

The fixture witnessed 20 goals scored in six matches, and the largest number of goals was in the match between Al Sadd and Muaither (six goals), and one match ended in a draw. As many as 20 yellow cards were also given, as were two cases of expulsion, namely: Umm Salal’s Omar Yahya and Qatar SC’s Raoul Sanda.

Al Wakrah and Al Gharafa came out with clean sheets.

Al Sadd, in pursuit of the title, emerged victorious against Muaither with a 4-2 scoreline. The Wolves staged a comeback in the second half, netting two goals to secure a 4-2 win. This result elevated their total points to 40, three points ahead of second-placed Al Gharafa. Meanwhile, Muaither remained at 11 points, languishing in second-to-last place, just three points adrift of bottom-placed Al Markhiya.

Akram Afif scored a hat-trick for Al Sadd in the 73rd and 77th minutes from two penalty kicks and 90+8 minute, after Tariq Salman had scored in the 48th minute, while Moroccan Ayman Al Hassouni scored for Muaither from a penalty kick in the 39th minute and Brazil’s Tiago Leonco found the net in the 45th minute of the match.

Al Gharafa continued to chase Al Sadd at the top after defeating Al Rayyan 3-0 at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium. Al Gharafa’s goals were scored by Ahmed Alaaeldin (10th and 60th minutes) and Ahmed Al Janahi (90+2 minute), in a match Algerian star Yacine Brahimi shone brightly. Al Gharafa’s point tally rose with this victory to 37 points in second place, three points behind leaders Al Sadd and ahead of third-placed Al Wakrah by three points.

Al Rayyan remained at 32 points, after losing points in their last two matches, falling to fourth place, after a draw with Umm Salal in Week 17 and then a loss to Al Gharafa.

While Al Duhail, the defending champions, came from behind to win 3-1 against Al Shamal in the match that brought them together at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium. Thanks to the changes made by coach Galtier in the second half, especially with the arrival of Coutinho, Al Duhail returned to victories again.

Suhaib Gannan scored for Al Duhail in the 63rd minute and Michael Olunga scored two goals in the 73rd and 90th minutes, while Iranian Omid Ebrahimi scored for Al Shamal in the 61st minute.

Al Duhail achieved their sixth victory, raising their score to 22 points, while Al Shamal suffered their seventh loss, remaining in ninth place with 18 points.

Al Wakrah continued their strong performances after a series of fluctuating results in some matches, as they succeeded in overcoming the Umm Salal obstacle with two goals, scored by Algerian Mohamed Benyettou and Umm Salal defender Marwan Loudani, through an own goal.

Al Wakrah’s tally rose to 34 points and advanced to third place, benefiting from Al Rayyan’s loss to Al Gharafa, while Umm Salal remained at 20 points in eighth place on goal difference from Al Ahli.

A positive draw decided the match between Al Ahli and Al Arabi, as Yousef Msakni took the initiative to score for Al Arabi in the 57th minute and Al Ahli scored the equalizing goal through Oomar Sekou from a penalty kick in the 81st minute.

This was the eighth tie for Al Arabi this season, making it the most tied team, but they raised their points to 23 in fifth place, while Al Ahli reached 20 points in seventh place.

Qatar SC narrowly escaped the trap of losing to Al Markhiya after coming from a goal down in the first half through Moroccan Driss Fettouhi with a powerful missile shot in the 22nd minute, into a valuable victory with two goals in 10 minutes scored by Javier Martinez in the 48th minute and Abdullah Al Ahrak in the 58th minute respectively.

Although Qatar SC played with 10 players since the 20th minute after the expulsion of Raoul Sanda, they succeeded in achieving a valuable victory and boosting their chances, raising their points to 16 in 10th place, while Al Markhiya are in 12th place with eight points.

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Published on: 18/03/2024


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