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Al Sadd captain Raul Gonzalez (left) celebrates with team-mates Talal Ali Albloushi (centre) and Nadir Belhadj during their Qatar Stars League (QSL) match against Al Sailiyah at Al Rayyan Stadium on Sunday. Al Sadd won 4-1 to notch their fourth successive victory.
DOHA: Al Sadd, captained by star player Raul for the fourth successive time, posted their fourth successive win in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) but chief title contenders Al Rayyan dropped points in week four action that ended on Sunday.
Al Sadd, the Asian champions, on Sunday beat Al Sailiyah 4-1 to notch win number four at Al Rayyan Stadium on Sunday.
“Our confidence is growing,” Al Sadd coach Hussein Amute said.
“We have managed to keep attacking to collect 12 points,” he added.
“It feels great that we have four wins on the trot. The players were in control on the pitch.
“I would say we did miss a few easy chances as a few of our players were tired (because of national duty). But we played a great first half,” he added.
“I would say Raul, Khalfan and (Nadir) Belhadj were at the top of their game. (Goalkeeper) Mohamed Saqr also stopped a certain goal which means it was a team effort,” the coach added.
“In the coming rounds, we are going to focus on one match at a time. We are on a roll and we wold like to continue in the same fashion.
“We don’t want to waste any point. We have great challenges up ahead. We will work together to achieve the kind of results we are capable of managing.” he said.
“There is fierce competition from all teams,” Amute said.
However, Al Khor put up a spirited defense in holding Al Rayyan to a goalless draw which gave coach Diego Aguirre worries ahead of week 5.
Al Wakra, who were also on three-match winning streak, dropped points in a 2-2 draw against defending champions Lekhwiya. Playing under new coach Eric Gerets for the first time in QSL, Lekhwiya were thankful to Sebastian Soria and Ali Hassan Afeef for the two goals that ensured a draw.
However, two goals from Yusuf Adam (32) and Younis Mahmood (53) helped Al Wakra to hit back with a creditable draw.
Al Khor, who grabbed a point against Al Rayyan on Sunday, are in fourth spot, after notching their third successive draw.
There was good news for former champions Al Gharafa also in week four.
Al Gharafa brought cheer to coach Paulo Silas’ face with a 2-0 win over Eljaish on Sunday.
It was Eljaish’s second loss this season, adding concern to coach Razvan Lucescu.
Qatar SC also picked up points after they beat Al Arabi 2-0 on Saturday.
Al Arabi were playing under new coach Hassan Shehata for the first time and clearly the Egyptian needs time to settle down in his new role in Doha. Sayed Hadi Aghily (penalty) and captain Bakri Kone brought delight to the Qatar SC camp coached by Sebastiao Lazaroni.
Aghily scored in the 23rd minute whereas Kone - who played for Lekhwiya in the last two season - found the net two minutes from the end of the first half.
Al Kharaitiyat, Al Arabi and Al Sailiyah are three sides still without a win after four weeks of intense football.
In their round four clash at Al Khor Stadium, Al Khairaitiyat took the lead through Yahia Kebe in the third minute of the match.
However, Umm Salal found the equaliser through Mamadou Traore Baila in the 28th minute.
The draw meant that Al Kharaitiyat - coached by Bernard Simondi - are still without a win in the new season. Umm Salal, who surprised Eljaish in the first match of the season, have lost two matches. Round five commences on October 27. THE PENINSULA