By Sports Reporter/ Doha
Al Rayyan and Al Shahania played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Week 10 of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League at the Al Duhail Stadium yesterday.
Abdulaziz Hatem (54th minute) and Sebastian Soria (60th) were Al Rayyan’s scorers, while Saoud Farhan (ninth minute) and Ramin Rezaein (68th) scored for Al Shahania.
Al Rayyan thus dropped two crucial points as they were emerging as serious title contenders. The Lions moved on to 22 points and Al Shahania four.
Al Shahania’s jinx of being the only team not to have registered a win in this season’s QNB Stars League continued. They remained at the bottom of the table as the tournament takes a long break after this weekend’s action. Jose Murcia’s men have to lift their game by several notches in the second leg if they are to avoid relegation.
It was Al Rayyan’s fourth draw and their six-match winning run came to an end. However, they have the record of being unbeaten along with Al Duhail.
Al Rayyan had more of the ball and opportunities even as Al Shahania fought their way in. After Al Shahania went ahead early into the game when Farhan capitalised on confusion among the Al Rayyan defenders, Diego Aguirre’s wards created many chances, but could not succeed in scoring before the half-time break.
Algerian attacking midfielder Yacine Brahimi, as expected, was at the centre of their forward moves. However, Hatem, Ahmed Abdelmaqsoud and Soria could not find the target. Some creative goalkeeping by Mohammed Al Bakri did not help their cause either.
Brisk action followed in the second session and Al Rayyan were soon on level terms, with Hatem becoming the goal taker.
Al Rayyan were soon 2-1 up as Soria gave finishing touch to Mowafaq Awad’s cross from the right.
Ali Ferydoon then set the stage for Al Shahania’s equaliser scored by Rezaein.
In the second match, Al Sailiya came from behind to record a crucial 2-1 victory over Al Arabi.
Pierre-Michel Lassoga (45th minute) gave Al Arabi the lead, but Al Sailiya replied through Meshaal al-Shammari in the 57th minute and Mubarak Boussoufa in the 80th minute.
Al Sailiya now have 14 points with their fourth victory, whereas Al Arabi crashed to their third defeat and stayed on 14 points.
Al Arabi have the advantage of having played one match less as their Week 5 fixture against defending champions Al Sadd was deferred due to the latter’s AFC Champions League commitment.
Al Sailiya’s Iranian striker Karim Ansari scared the rival goal in the very first minute of the game. Two minutes later, at the other end, Yousef Abdulrazaq sent a rebound wide after Al Sailiya goalkeeper Khalifa Aboobacker blocked Birkir Bjarnason’s free-kick.
On the half-hour mark, Al Arabi striker Hamdi Harbaoui headed against the right post off a cross from Fahd Ali.
Soon, it was Al Arabi’s Marc Muniesa Martinez’s turn to strike against the left upright off a rebound after Khalifa parried Hamdi’s shot.
After Al Sailiya striker Abdulqadir Ilyas had his shot blocked by rival goalkeeper Gregory Gomis, Hamdi himself hit against the left post.
Action gathered steam and Al Arabi finally found the target through Lassoga, who slammed in a Mohammed Salah El Neel cross from the left in the last minute of first half.
Al Sailiya began the latter session aggressively and were rewarded for their persistent efforts.
After Nadir Belhadj came close to scoring in the 48th minute, Meshaal was on target as he headed in a corner kick.
Meshaal had a hand in their winning goal as well. He initiated the move along the right and found Majdi Siddiq, who crossed the ball to Boussoufa to apply the finish.
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