WATCH: QNB Stars League - Week 16 highlights

WATCH: QNB Stars League - Week 16 highlights

By QLSports

The 2020-21 season QNB Stars League’s Week 16 fixtures, held on Saturday and Sunday (February 13 and 14, 2021), witnessed hot action. A total of 11 goals were scored over six matches, all of which ended in victories.

Al Sadd kept their 13-point lead over closest challengers and holders Al Duhail on top of the table following their 3-0 win over Al Ahli.

Baghdad Bounedjah, Boualem Khoukhi and substitute Tarek Salman scored the goals as Al Sadd moved on to 44 points. Al Ahli slipped from sixth to seventh place with 23 points.

Al Duhail are on 31 points after they beat Al Rayyan 2-0 in a high-profile encounter. Ismail Mohammed and substitute Michael Olunga found the target for The Red Knights.

Qatar SC, who beat Umm Salal by a last-gasp penalty goal scored by Youcef Belaili, also have 27 points, but The Kings occupied the third spot (jumped from the fifth place) on better goal difference (+10 as against Al Gharafa’s +8).

The round saw two red-card suspensions — Al Kharaitiyat striker Rachid Tiberkanine and Umm Salal defender Ayman Abdennour were sent off.

The QNB Stars League’s Week 17 games will be played on February 22 and 23.

Al Arabi 1 vs Al Wakrah 0

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2021

Venue: Al Arabi Stadium

Al Arabi beat Al Wakrah 1-0 at the Al Arabi Stadium on Sunday.

Mehrdad Mohammadi scored the winner by converting a penalty in the 77th minute as Al Arabi clinched their sixth victory of the season.

Al Arabi moved on to 23 points, the same as Al Ahli but with better goal difference, while Al Wakrah remained on 14 points. Al Sadd subdued their rivals with 61 percent possession, unlike their first-leg game against Al Khor when both teams failed to break the deadlock.

The match got off to a fast start, with Sebastian Soria earning a corner kick in the second minute as Al Arabi looked to take early control.

Al Wakrah looked an improved side in the last few minutes of the first half, but the stalemate persisted as players walked into the tunnel.

Al Arabi looked dangerous in the second half as well. They finally got the breakthrough when a charging Msakni was brought down by Ousmane Coulibaly close to the goal, and the referee this time had no hesitation in signalling a spot-kick. Mehrdad made no mistake with a confident push in the centre, with the goalkeeper diving on his right.

Al Arabi kept their lead intact until the final whistle, giving no chance to Al Wakrah for a comeback by continuing an aggressive display.

Al Duhail 2 vs Al Rayyan 0

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2021

Venue: Al Duhail Stadium

Al Duhail defeated Al Rayyan 2-0 at Al Duhail Stadium on Sunday.

Ismail Mohammed (37th minute) and substitute Michael Olunga (73rd minute) scored for Al Duhail, who stood in the second position with 31 points with their 10th victory.

Al Rayyan remained on 25 points after suffering their fifth defeat.

Al Duhail had beaten Al Rayyan 2-1 in the first leg of 2020-21 season QNB Stars League.

The marquee encounter of the week, pitting two of the strongest teams against each other, lived up to expectations as both teams were on attack mode from start.

Al Duhail were more charging in the first half. Their players Almoez Ali, Paulo Edmilson Junior, Mohammed Muntari and Eduardo Rodrigues (Dudu) all posed constant threat to the Al Rayyan goal.

One such raid helped Al Duhail take the half-time break with a 1-0 lead when Ismail quickly connected a back pass from near the goalline by Dudu. The Al Rayyan defenders had no answer to it and the ball went in past goalkeeper Saoud Al Hajri.

At the other end, Yohan Boli, Abdulaziz Hatem and Khaled Muftah made goalbound moves for Al Rayyan even as Al Duhail defender Mehdi Benatia and goalkeeper Salah Zakaria stood firm.

Change of ends saw both teams make substitutions, the most notable being new recruit Olunga replacing Mohammed Muntari as Al Duhail sought to buttress the lead.

Al Rayyan upped their ante and Boli had a good chance to equalize in the 51st minute, but he skied the ball.

On the other hand, Edmilson’s cross from the right went unanswered just past the hour mark.

Al Duhail then found the target a second time as Olunga volleyed in the ball.

Umm Salal 0 vs Qatar SC 1

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2021

Venue: Al Duhail Stadium

Youcef Belaili converted a penalty right at the death as Qatar SC beat 10-man Umm Salal 1-0 at the Al Duhail Stadium on Sunday.

Belaili chose to drive the penalty to the right of Umm Salal keeper Samy Habib deep into stoppage time (90+11) as Qatar SC picked up three points after a feisty contest.

Qatar SC now have a tally of 27 points, while Umm Salal stood on 15 points.

Al Khor 2 vs Al Kharaitiyat 1

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021

Venue: Qatar SC Stadium

Al Khor defeated 10-man Al Kharaitiyat 2-1 at the Qatar SC Stadium on Saturday.

Khaled Radwan (ninth minute) and Pierre-Michel Lasogga (55th minute) scored for Al Khor in their third win this season. And it came at a crucial time when The Knights were in danger zone.

Nasser Ibrahim Al Nasr pulled one back for Al Kharaitiyat in the 79th minute.

After the victory in the bottom-of-the-table clash, Al Khor moved to 13 points, while Al Kharaitiyat remained last with six points. Al Kharaitiyat had defeated Al Khor by the same margin in the first leg.

Al Khor started the match brightly by attacking the Al Kharaitiyat goal. They came close to scoring in the eighth minute, but Ismail Elhaddad, who was in a good position to score, fired his shot wide.

But just one minute later, Radwan scored with a clinical header as he evaded his marker from a corner kick to take Al Khor ahead.

Al Kharaitiyat, looking to make a comeback, began to attack, making many attempts, but they lacked accuracy as they had shot on target just once in the first half.  

Adding to their misery was a red card to Rachid Tiberkanine, who was expelled from the match for a dangerous challenge against Radwan in the 40th minute.

Three minutes after the start of second half, Radwan came close to scoring his second goal, but his header this time sailed just over the crossbar.

Seven minutes later, Lasogga doubled the lead for Al Khor by heading the ball past goalkeeper Mamdouh from close range after a cross from Elhaddad, following a corner.

In the 74th minute, Elhaddad sneaked into the Al Kharaitiyat box after a defensive error, but failed to beat the goalkeeper.

Five minutes later, Al Nasr fired a shot from outside the box and Al Khor goalkeeper Baba Djibril failed to stop the ball despite a long dive to his right.

After reducing the deficit, Al Kharaitiyat tried hard for an equalizer, but Al Khor ensured full points with solid defending and counter-attacks.

Al Sadd 3 vs Al Ahli 0

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021

Venue: Al Sadd Stadium

Al Sadd defeated Al Ahli 3-0 at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.

Baghdad Bounedjah (23rd minute), Boualem Khoukhi (26th minute) and substitute Tarek Salman (88th minute) scored for Al Sadd.

It was Al Sadd’s 14th victory, the most by any team. The Wolves also kept their unbeaten streak intact, the only team to do so thus far in this season’s championship.

Al Sadd now have a 16-point lead over reigning champions Al Duhail, who will face Al Rayyan on Sunday.

Al Ahli remained on 23 points following their seventh loss. They had lost to Al Sadd by a 1-7 margin in the first leg.

Al Sadd were up by two goals going into the half-time break with 64 percent of the ball. Both goals came through moves along the left flank.

Bounedjah opened the scoring with a quick placing shot, with Nam Tae-Hee giving him the assist.

Defender Khoukhi doubled the advantage three minutes later by heading in Santi Cazorla’s free-kick.

Even as Al Sadd dominated possession, Al Ahli made intermittent moves. One such raid saw Hernan Perez’s shot, off a Nabil El Zhar low cross from the right in the 34th minute, being cleared for a corner. Mohammed Diame came up with a chip shot off the resultant corner kick and it hit the crossbar.

Al Sadd continued to attack in the second half and Guilherme Torres came close in the 69th minute, but his shot on the run went narrowly wide of the left upright.

Both teams made substitutions and Al Ahli captain Omid Ebrahimi, substitute Ali Ghaderi and Hernan all showed greater desire for a breakthrough, which never came.

Meanwhile, Al Sadd added the third goal when Tarek, who came off the bench after 70 minutes, made the most of another substitute Salem Al Hajri’s pass following Cazorla’s corner kick.

Al Gharafa 0 vs Al Sailiya 1

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021

Venue: Qatar SC Stadium

Al Sailiya beat Al Gharafa 1-0 at the Qatar SC Stadium on Saturday.

Mohammed Mudather scored the only goal of the match in the 70th minute as Al Sailiya moved on to 22 points with their sixth victory.

Al Gharafa failed to add to their tally of 27 points as they suffered their fifth defeat.

Al Gharafa showed early intent when Koo Ja-Cheol drilled a shot from the edge of the box in the third minute, but the ball sailed past the goalpost to the right of Al Sailiya keeper Claude Amine.

Soon, Al Sailiya’s Saad Al Sowan produced a low shot from inside the Al Gharafa box, but the ball was blocked by keeper Yousef Hassan.

In the 19th minute, Koo produced another long-range shot following a short cross from the wing, but the ball was once again slapped away with a dive by keeper Amine.

Al Gharafa’s Sofiane Hanni also lined up a good shot in the 33rd minute but, once again, The Cheetahs missed the target from the edge of the box.

Three minutes into the second half, Koo found Jonathan Kodjia with a neat cross as the tall Al Gharafa striker charged into the Al Sailiya box. Kodjia tried to clip the ball over the head of goalkeeper, who stepped out of his position to block the move. But he managed to reach the ball with his right hand to take the sting out of the attack.

Seven minutes on, Al Sailiya’s Tiago Bezerra superbly took a direct free-kick from the edge of the Al Gharafa box, but the ball narrowly missed the crossbar. A couple of minutes later, Al Sailiya’s Mohammed Rajab also got close to the goalmouth, but his feeble tap was not enough to beat the keeper.

After a series of hits and misses, Al Sailiya found the target through Mudather. He received a long loopy ball inside the box and Al Gharafa’s new recruit Serge Kanon failed to read the flight of the ball and failed to clear it, allowing Mudather a shot at the goal and the latter scored with ease.

Seven minutes from time, Al Gharafa’s Koo produced a snap-header off a long free-kick, but keeper Ali easily pouched the ball.

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WATCH: QNB Stars League - Week 16 highlights

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The 2020-21 season QNB Stars League’s Week 16 fixtures, held on Saturday and Sunday (February 13 and 14, 2021), witnessed hot action. A total of 11 goals were scored over six matches, all of which ended in victories.