DOHA: Al Sadd shook off a forgettable performance in the first half to come back strong and pound Al Kharaitiyat 4-1 in yesterday’s Qatar Stars League match at Al Khor Stadium.
Early in the match, it seemed ‘The Wolves’ were not over the disappointment of their Asian Champions League quarter-final defeat at the hands of Saudi club Al Hilal on Wednesday. And although they dominated possession, Al Kharaitiyat looked more threatening every time they got the ball.
There seemed to be some holes in Al Sadd’s usually solid defence and in the 13th minute Domingos Dos Santos latched on to a cross and fired home to give Al Kharaitiyat the lead.
The goal seemed to lift the Al Kharaitiyat side and they began to push the pace of the game.
Al Sadd’s best chance of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Saleh Badr Alyazidi’s header ricocheted off the post.
Five minutes later, Abdelkerem Hassan almost had an open Al Kharaitiyat goal but he also failed to score.
Last season, Al Kharaitiyat had managed to take two points from Al Sadd in the early stages of the season and going into the break it seemed history would repeat itself.
But Al Sadd came out firing in the second half and Hasan Khalid Haydos dribbled past defenders to score in the 47th minute.
The Sheikh Jassim Cup champions now began to show their class and Al Kharaitiyat began to make mistakes.
In the 61st minute, Qatar national team player Khalfan Ibrahim Khalfan beat Al Kharaitiyat goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar Ndiaye and ‘The Wolves’ went ahead.
As the game progressed, Al Kharaitiyat seemed to fall apart and Nadir Belhadj and Ibrahim M. Abdulmajid finished off things with two more goals — giving Al Sadd a winning start to their QSL season.
On Thursday Al Sadd coach Hussain Amute was asked if his team had what it took to win the QSL title this season — to which he replied: “Yes of course.”