Al Rayyan rally to down Al Sadd 2-1

 28 Oct 2017 - 2:44

Al Rayyan rally to down Al Sadd 2-1
Al Sadd’s Xavi Fernandez (left) and Al Rayyan’s Abderrazaq Hamdallah vie for ball possession during the QNB Stars League (QSL) match at Al Sadd Stadium in Doha yesterday. Al Rayyan won 2-1. Pictures: Kammutty VP/The Peninsula

By Armstrong Vas / The Peninsula

Al Rayyan rallied from behind to register a fighting 2-1 win over Al Sadd in the Qatar Clasico of the QNB Stars league (QSL) at Al Sadd Stadium yesterday.
The sixth-round match between the two giants kept everybody on their toes thorough out the 90-minute duration and in the end The Lions were able to end the jinx of losing to Al Sadd in the QSL.
Prolific goal scorer for Al Sadd Baghdad Bounedjah gave the lead for The Wolves in the 12th minute of the match while Abderrazaq Hamdallah struck ten minutes in to the second half for Al Rayyan while Myongin Koh struck the decisive match-winning goal in the 71st minute.
The match began at a fast pace with both teams eager to gain a foothold over the proceedings very early in the match.
Al Sadd got off on the goal front very early. Striker Bounedjah positioned himself in a perfect position to head home a cross from Musab Keder Kamal to give Al Sadd an early lead.
Thereafter, both the teams tried to break open the rival defense but without any success.
In the second half, Al Rayyan came up with varied combinations to unsettle the back four of Al Sadd.
The Lions efforts bore fruits when Hamdallah managed to restore parity. The Moroccan striker finished the combined move with an elegant left footed drive which broke through the defense of Al Sadd keeper Saad Abdulla Al Dosari.
Al Rayyan struck again with 19 minutes left for the final whistle, Koh tool full toll of a defensive lapse on the part of Al Sadd defender Kamal, who slipped on his own while trying to keep the South Korean in check allowing enough room for the 29-year-old to send his trying between the legs of Sadd keeper Al Dosari.
Down by a goal, Al Sadd pressed the panic buttons and steeped up the pace in the last five minutes but Al Rayyan defense stood the test.
In the other two matches played yesterday, Al Ahli and Al Arabi played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Al Ahli Stadium while Umm Salal edged Al Khor 1-0 at the Al Gharafa Stadium
At Ahli Stadium, Under-23 player Farid Ibrahim (50th minute) and defender Meshaal Abdullah (85th) scored for Al Ahli, while captain Ammar Jamal (21st) and Mardek Mardikian (64th) were on target for Al Arabi.
Al Ahli now have five points and Al Arabi four after six matches.
Al Arabi were on the front foot from the beginning. They showed more purpose and created their first chance in the 15th minute, but striker Mohammed Salem hit wide off a pass from the right by Mardikian.
They duly surged ahead six minutes later through captain Ammar, who rose above the rival defenders to flick home a Khalfan Ibrahim free-kick with his head.
Hamad Ismail, along the right, and Khalfan from the left, made inroads into the Al Ahli area as Al Arabi continued to be on the offensive, but the scoreline remained the same till the half-time whistle.
Al Ahli came back from the breather with renewed vigour and that paid dividends in the form of an equaliser in the 50th minute when Farid found the mark after  Abdullah crossed the ball from the right.
Al Arabi then upped the ante, with Diego Jardel replacing Mohammed Salem. They regained the lead before long through Mardikian, who slammed home a rebound from Yazan Naim after the goalkeeper blocked Hamad’s shot off a counter-attack.
The match was even afterwards. The Brigadiers’ evergreen hero Abdullah made attempts at the rival goal time and again, only to be denied, even as Al Ahli tried hard for a second equaliser. And it did come five minutes from time through Meshaal Mubarak’s direct free-kick.
Al Ahli next run into Al Sadd, while Al Arabi face Al Kharaitiyat.
Meanwhile, Umm Salal got back to winning ways, thanks to a nervy 1-0 victory over Al Khor.
Needing to start the game well, the home side looked well organised against Laurent Banide’s Al Khor. However, they were largely restricted to shots from distance in the first half. Danger man Yannick Sagbo went close on two occasions, first shooting wide when in on goal and the second, a rocket of a shot from long range, was tipped around the post.
Immediately after the break, they found a way through the Al Khor defence, thanks to some good attacking play down the left. Left-back Rami Shamalah’s cross inside the area found Mohammed El Sayed who first looped the ball over the defender before scoring when in on goal at the second attempt.
This goal sprung Al Khor into life for the first time as they enjoyed a lengthy period of possession in search of the equaliser. Their greatest attacking threat came from an energetic Madison, who made several efforts and was particularly unlucky with a 25-yard drive that flew just inches past the post.
Sagbo did have a chance to finish off the game late on as he latched onto a through ball over the top, but was unlucky to see his volley on the turn go over the bar.
Al Khor will be disappointed not to have made more of an impression on the game as they seek to regroup for next week’s game against high-flyers Al Duhail, while Umm Salal face Al Sailiya.