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The 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League witnessed challenges and difficulties, and competition between the teams lasted till the final round.

It is certain that the teams will seek to build on their positives and address areas for improvement in order to be better in the new season (2024-2025).

In successive episodes, we review each team’s performance in the 2023-2024 Expo Stars League.

AL AHLI

Al Ahli finished the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League in 10th place with 23 points (seven wins, two draws and 13 defeats). They scored 37 goals and conceded 58, the most by any team, proving themselves to be the side with the weakest defence.

The Brigadiers faced difficult circumstances this season in many matches and relegation threat or Play-Off, but came good in the final rounds to earn 10th spot, two places behind what they achieved in the 2022-2023 season when they ended up eighth with 24 points.

Starting under Nebojsa

Al Ahli began the season under coach Nebojsa Jovovic who prepared the team well during the preparation period through training and an overseas camp in Austria, where they played a number of friendly matches.

Declining results force change

Nebojsa guided Al Ahli in the first rounds of the league, but due to decline in results and after Week 5, he was relieved of his duties and Portuguese coach Pedro Miguel took over. The club management placed its confidence in the technical staff and players in order to achieve positive results.

Khaled Taj takes up reins in last three matches

Due to further decline in results and levels and after Week 20, Al Ahli announced that assistant coach Khaled Taj took over the technical responsibility of the team replacing Pedro Miguel and the former guided them in the last three matches (postponed match from Week 13, and Weeks 21 and 22).

Strengthening ranks at beginning of the season

In an effort by the club management to strengthen the squad, Al Ahli signed players such as Tunisian Naim Sliti, Ivorian Idrissa Doumbia and German star Julian Draxler, a former Paris Saint-Germain player.

Start with a loss

Al Ahli started off with a 1-2 loss to Al Duhail. They then lost to Al Sadd, Al Gharafa and Umm Salal, causing them to lose 12 points in the first four rounds.

First victory

Al Ahli scored their first victory in Week 5 with a 4-2 win over Muaither, but lost to Qatar SC in Week 6, which was the team’s first match under new coach Pedro Miguel.

Amidst mixed fortunes, Al Ahli finished the first leg in 10th place with nine points.

Signing of Ramon Arias

During the Asian Cup break, Al Ahli signed Uruguayan player Ramon Arias from Muaither to replace Colombian defender Danilo Arboleda.

They played a number of friendlies during that period. They lost 2-3 to Iranian team Sepahan, lost 0-1 to Al Arabi and beat Al Wakrah 2-1.

League returns

The Expo Stars League returned after the Asian Cup with Week 14 action, where Al Ahli beat Al Gharafa. They lost in Round 15 to Umm Salal and drew with Muaither, before defeating Qatar SC in Round 17.

Al Ahli ended the season by defeating Al Wakrah 1-0 in Week 22 to finally finish in 10th position.

Sliti is team’s top scorer with 10 goals

Sliti emerged as Al Ahli’s top scorer in this season’s league championship with 10 goals. He provided a good performance in the first leg. Oumar Sekou came second with eight goals.

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Published on: 23/05/2024

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