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Al Sadd’s Hassan Khalid Alhaydos controls the ball during his team’s Qatar Stars League (QSL) match against Qatar Sports Club yesterday. RIGHT: A Qatar Sports Club player challenges for the ball. Al Sadd won 2-1 to maintain their six-point lead in the QSL standings.
DOHA: Spanish striker Raul scored a late winner against Qatar SC to maintain Al Sadd’s six point lead at the top of the Qatar Stars League (QSL) standings yesterday, in a match that saw both teams reduced to 10-men.
Ali Youssef had given the points leaders the advantage, but his shot was cancelled out by Sayed Aghily in the second half.
Qatar SC captain Youssef Safri and Al Sadd’s Talal Al Balushi both received their marching orders from the referee in which the match finished 2-1.
In other QSL action yesterday, Al Gharafa continued their impressive form to record a 3-1 victory over Al Kharaitiyat.
Elsewhere, in the later match, Al Khor beat Al Arabi 1-0.
In the match between Al Sadd and Qatar SC, the home side, coached by Hussein Amute, went into the match with a three-point lead following Lekhwiya’s win over Eljaish yesterday.
Amute’s side began the match slowly, having not played a competitive match since the end of December in QSL.
The visitors Qatar SC, started the match brightly putting the home side under pressure.
Despite the nervy start, Amute saw his team go 1-0 up in the 21st minute courtesy of Ali Youssef.
Youssef received a well-placed pass from Raul to slot the ball past the Qatar SC goalkeeper and into the net.
Al Sadd’s Ibrahim Khalfan, who scored two goals in the 2013 Gulf Cup competition for Qatar, received a yellow card in the 25th minute after falling down in the penalty box.
The home side finished the first half with 55 per cent of possession as compared to Qatar SC’s 45 per cent. Qatar SC levelled the score early in the second half when Aghily scored a penalty in the 52nd minute.
Both teams were creating chances hoping to find the winner in the match.
However Raul, who had a quiet game by his own standards, scored a goal in the 83rd minute what proved to be the winnning goal.
The former Real Madrid and FC Schalke striker, who joined Al Sadd in May last year, saw his shot in the back of the net, after a goalkeeper blunder by Qatar SC.
There was more action towards the end of the match match, when Safri and Al Balushi both received red cards after clashing following a challenge.
The 2-1 win, which was their eleventh victory puts Al Sadd on top of the QSL standings with 34 points.
The loss for Qatar SC means that they are in eighth position with 14 points.
Elsewhere, Brazil’s Diego Tardelli scored his ninth goal of the season when he doubled Al Gharafa’s lead after his side took the advantage early in the match.
Nene, who joined Al Gharafa earlier this month from French giants Paris Saint Germain, grabbed his first goal of the campaign.
Minutes after, Al Kharaitiyat pulled one back through Yahia Kebe.
The match also saw new signing Djibril Cisse make his debut following his loan transfer from English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers earlier this month.
The French striker was officially unveiled earlier this week.
The result for Al Gharafa puts them in fifth position with 21 points.
Elsewhere, Al Kharaitiyat are in 10th position with eleven points. Al Khor are in ninth position with 14 points, following their 1-0 win over Al Arabi.
Al Arabi are second bottom with eleven points.
QSL clubs will soon be in action again when Round 14 begins on January 26 and 27.