Al Sadd regain top spot with five-star win over Al Shamal
January 18 2022 10:44 PM
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Al Sadd’s Rodrigo Tabata (third from right) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Al Shama
Al Sadd’s Rodrigo Tabata (third from right) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Al Shamal during their QNB Stars League match yesterday.

By Sports Reporter/ Doha

Reigning champions Al Sadd wrest back the top spot on the Qatar Stars League table, routing Al Shamal 5-1 to take their points tally to 34 yesterday.
The Wolves earned the points in 12 games, with three postponed games against Al Wakrah, Qatar SC, and Al Rayyan, yet to be played.
The second-placed Al Duhail, who were held by bottom-placed Al Sailiya on Monday, are on 33 points after the 15th round.
Al Shamal produced a brave show against the reigning champions claiming lead through Moaz al-Salemi in the 32nd minute, before an equaliser by striker Akram Afif – eight minutes later – opened the floodgates for Al Sadd.
Al Sadd, coming back to action after a Covid-forced break, regained their ruthless goal-scoring form, netting four more goals in the final session to seal their 11th victory from 12 matches.  
Rodrigo Tabata came off the bench to give Al Sadd lead with a strike in the 54th minute before Ali Asad (63rd minute), Hassan al-Haydous (68th minute) and Mustafa Tareq (79th minute) scored goals in short intervals to record a big victory.    
“I am happy with the win as we have won three valuable points,” Al Sadd coach Javi Gracia said after the win yesterday.  
“It was a tough game as Al Shamal were coming after some impressive results. The first half was even but we showed our capability in the second half,” he added. Gracia said his team only focuses on its performance and look to clinch maximum points in every match.   
“We do not look at the results of the competitors. Our goal is to get the three points in every match and this will come by working hard.”
Also yesterday, Umm Salal took full advantage of an early red card to Sofiane Haani to defeat Al Gharafa 3-1 in their Round 15 tie at their home ground.
Despite being reduced to 10 men in the 19th minute, Al Gharafa went ahead through a Cheick Diabate goal in the 29th minute but Umm Salal struck back 10 minutes later, with Abdulrahman Fayez scoring the equaliser.
Adel al-Sulaimane put Umm Salal ahead in the 58th minute before Aymen Hussein converted a penalty in the 69th minute to secure the win for Umm Salal.
Umm Salal moved to 22 points – one point short of Al Gharafa’s tally – after the win.  
At the Al Khor Stadium, Al Rayyan lost more points as hosts Al Khor held them to a goalless draw.
The former champions made several attempts to score but failed to find a goal to stay on 16 points from 14 games.
Al Khor are 11th with 10 points from 15 matches.     

QSL announces amendment to schedule
Meanwhile, Qatar Stars League yesterday made an amendment to the League schedule, after the Asian Football Confederation announced changes to the 2022 AFC Champions League calendar. It has been decided to revise the schedule of Weeks 17 to 22. The dates of three Al Sadd’s matches, which were postponed from Round 11, 13 and 14, have also been finalised.
Al Sadd and Al Wakrah will meet on January 31 while The Wolves will play Qatar SC on February 17. The Qatar Classico between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan will be played on March 8.



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