Al Markhiya shock Al Khor to open points tally; Al Rayyan win

 21 Oct 2017 - 2:19

Al Markhiya shock Al Khor to open points tally; Al Rayyan win
Al Rayyan and Al Sailiya Players vie for the ball possession during their QNB Stars League match played at Al Ahli Stadium yesterday. Al Rayyan won 1-0

By Armstrong Vas / The Peninsula

Newcomers Al Markhiya stunned Al Khor 1-0 to pick up their first points of the league while Al Rayyan left it late to secure an identical victory over Al Sailiya in Round 5 of the QNB Stars League here yesterday.
The visitors struck the match winning goal in the 55th-minute to register their first win of the season.
Nasser Al Nasr’s goal gave Al Markhiya, who had lost all their four matches, a much-needed boost for their campaign, and now have three points from five matches.
Al Khor remained on four points having earlier defeated Al Ahli and drawn with Al Kharaitiyat
Ayman Mansour’s wards thus officially opened their account after their victory against Al Sadd in the first round was overturned for fielding an ineligible player.
Al Nasr beat Al Khor goalkeeper Baba Gibril, who replaced suspended first-choice custodian Amin Lecomte over his altercation with an Al Gharafa player in the previous round, hands down off a defence-splitting pass from Saleh Al Yahri to give Al Markhiya their first win.
Al Khor made many desperate attempts towards the end, their livewire Madson leading the charge, but to no avail. Their best chance for an equaliser came in the 78th minute when Soroush Hussein’s shot went off the right upright.
Earlier, Al Markhiya made some initial forays in the first half which failed to live up to expectations, with Kwame Karikari and Alain Traore at the helm, Al Khor took charge of the proceedings.
Still, the intensity was less. After Soroush Hossein and Madson sent their feeble shots straight to goalkeeper Mohammed Muntazar, defender Luciano Silva saw his header off a free-kick being saved by the rival custodian.
Much-experienced captain Medhat Mustafa held the Al Markhiya defence together.
In the next round matches, Al Markhiya next face Al Kharaitiyat while Al Khor play Umm Salal.
At Ahli Stadium, Al Rayyan left it late to secure a crucial victory over Al, thanks to a goal from impressive Moroccan Abderrazzak Hamdellah.
In what turned out to be an entertaining game, it was the away side who dominated possession, with Al Sailiya content to sit back and attack on the counter.
Sebastian Soria was particularly lively throughout, having been unfortunate to convert on several occasions, thanks to fine goalkeeping from The Peregrines’ Abdrahman Aziz. Perhaps, the closest attempts of the first half fell to Al Sailiya’s in-from Brazilian maestro Wagner Ribeiro, who first forced a fine save from Al Rayyan’s goalkeeper before seeing his 30-yard effort strike the post moments later.
Al Sailiya did have the chance to break the deadlock in the second half as Abdulkholikov ran clear on goal. However, his attempted chip was thwarted by rival goalkeeper Omar Barry. After Soria was substituted, more focus was on Hamdellah to take the lead role.
After a couple of close attempts on goal, he got his reward in the 83rd minute after being felled in the penalty area amid protests from the home side. He stepped up and duly struck the ball into the roof of the opposition net. Some late pressure did come from Al Sailiya, but it was too late to make a real difference.
The result will give Al Rayyan a great confidence boost as they prepare for next week’s huge fixture away to Al Sadd. Meanwhile, Al Sailiya will be looking to get back on track as they play Qatar SC away.