WATCH: QNB Stars League - Week 9 highlights

WATCH: QNB Stars League - Week 9 highlights

By QLSports

The 2020-21 season QNB Stars League’s Week 9 was not devoid of thrills and frills, and saw plenty of action and excitement, with as many as 16 goals being scored across six matches of which only one ended in a draw.

Al Sadd widened their gap on top of the table to six points following their 4-1 victory over Al Gharafa in the week’s marquee clash. The Wolves now have 25 points with eight victories and a draw, and are still the only unbeaten team.

Al Gharafa remained on 18 points following their third defeat and slipped to third place, as Al Ahli moved up from third spot with a 2-0 win over Al Kharaitiyat.

Al Ahli are on 19 points, six adrift of Al Sadd, while Al Kharaitiyat stood on six points and slipped from 11th to bottom position.

Holders Al Duhail improved their position one place to fifth with 15 points as they scored a 2-0 victory over Al Arabi, who moved down one spot to 11th with six points.

Al Arabi and Al Kharaitiyat are both on six points, but the former were placed above on goal difference (-10 as against Al Kharaitiyat’s -14).

Qatar SC made it big yet again by notching up their fourth victory in a row and fifth overall, this time by a 3-1 margin over Al Sailiya in another contest that evoked keen interest.

In the process, Qatar SC stormed into the top four with 15 points even as Al Sailiya stood seventh in the table with 11 points. Both Qatar SC and Al Duhail have 15 points, but the former got better ranking on goal difference (+5 compared to Al Duhail’s +3).

Al Sadd 4 vs Al Gharafa 1

Date: Sunday, December 13, 2020

Venue: Al Duhail Stadium

Al Sadd beat Al Gharafa 4-1 at the Al Duhail Stadium on Sunday.

Boualem Khoukhi (fifth minute), Santiago Cazorla (63rd minute), Akram Afif (84th minute) and Baghdad Bounedjah (90th minute) scored the goals for Al Sadd, who continued to top the table with 25 points following their eighth victory.

Koo Ja-Cheol scored in the 76th minute for Al Gharafa, who remained on 18 points after their third defeat.

In the fourth minute, Al Gharafa’s Homam Elamin brought down Al Haydous close to his own box with a reckless tackle that saw the Qatar national team skipper writhing in pain. Khoukhi did not disappoint with the resultant free-kick, sending the ball into the net with a slick shot that sailed into the top right of net with Al Gharafa keeper Salah Hassan unable to stop the ball.

It was Khoukhi’s first goal of the season and it came off in a spectacular fashion. On the half-hour mark, Tarek Salman of Al Sadd, after making his way into the Al Gharafa box, picked up a deflected ball and fired a shot that hit the goalpost.

Two minutes later, Al Gharafa wasted a golden opportunity to score off a penalty kick. Salman brought down Yousef Muftah of Al Gharafa. The referee sought the assistance VAR and then pointed to the spot kick. Al Gharafa’s Algerian midfielder Sofiane Hanni decided to go left of keeper Meshaal Barsham who produced a perfect dive to deflect the ball away.

Al Sadd doubled their lead when Muftah brought down Guilherme Torres resulting in a long-range free-kick. Cazorla curled in a free-kick that sailed above the Al Gharafa wall and dipped on the goalkeeper before bouncing.

In the 74th minute, Hanni despite under pressure from defender Abdelkarim Hassan, found Koo with a neat cross and slipped in the ball from touching distance of the goal line. Koo charged into the Al Sadd box and fired home with a powerful shot. Ten minutes later, Afif produced a deft left-footed flick from an acute angle into the top of the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Bounedjah added Al Sadd’s fourth goal in the last minute from close range.

Al Sailiya 1 vs Qatar SC 3

Date: Sunday, December 13, 2020

Venue: Al Ahli Stadium

Qatar SC beat Al Sailiya 3-1 at Al Ahli Stadium on Sunday.

Anthony Okpotu (11th and 15th minutes) and Youcef Belaili (88th minute) scored for Qatar SC. The Kings moved on to 15 points with their fourth consecutive victory and fifth overall this season.

Serigne Mbodji (45+4) scored the only of Al Sailiya, who stood on 11 points following their fourth defeat.

Qatar SC were in unrelenting mood from start. That they were up by two goals inside 15 minutes showed how charged up their players have been under the tutelage of former Qatar international midfielder.

Okpotu scored both his goals in similar fashion, with Algerian forward Belaili providing him with the assists on both occasions. Referee Hamad Al Subaie referred to the Video Assistant Referee to confirm the second goal as Okpotu was doubted to have been offside.

Al Sailiya’s efforts bore fruits as Mbodji reduced the margin in first-half injury time with a diving header off Nadir Belhadj’s cross.

Al Sailiya showed more alacrity in the second half. Soon after resumption, Belhadj tested the goalkeeper with a grounder and then, in the 83rd minute, he was thwarted by Amine.

However, Qatar SC swelled the margin, with Belaili getting on to the scoresheet as the match wore on.

Al Duhail 2 vs Al Arabi 0

Date: Sunday, December 13, 2020

Venue: Al Duhail Stadium

Al Duhail defeated Al Arabi 2-0 at the Al Duhail Stadium on Sunday.

A double by Edmilson Junior (32nd and 78th minutes) powered defending champions Al Duhail to their fifth win and on to 15 points. Al Arabi remained on six points after their fifth defeat.

Al Duhail then opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with Rodrigues, in the center of the pitch near the Al Arabi box, finding Edmilson with a short pass. Al Arabi’s Fahad Shnein gave a hot chase but Edmislon, after slipping into the box, flicked the ball to the right of the goalkeeper from close range.

With Al Duhail seeking momentum to their attacks, coach Sabri Lamouchi benched Mohammed Muntari, who received a yellow card in injury time of the first half, and brought in striker Almoez Ali. The Al Duhail duo of Luiz Martin and Dudu were also benched.

After a few tame exchanges, Edmilson curled in a long-range shot in the 66th minute, but his shot slipped past the post without causing damage to Al Arabi.

The Red Knights sealed their commanding show with another strike from Edmilson who fired a bullet from the edge of the box after a short pass from Almoez stationed around 20 yards away. Edmilson stopped the ball, made a quick assessment of the angle and then fired a shot to the right of Al Abbasi, who dived full length.

Al Rayyan 1 vs Umm Salal 1

Date: Monday, December 14, 2020

Venue: Al Duhail Stadium

Al Rayyan and Umm Salal played out a 1-1 draw at the Al Duhail Stadium on Monday. Yacine Brahimi scored for Al Rayyan from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute, while Kayke Rodriguez netted Umm Salal’s goal in the 50th minute.

Al Rayyan and Umm Salal have 13 and eight points respectively. Umm Salal, on a high having beaten Al Kharaitiyat 1-0 in Week 8, started with a bang as Abdennour Belhocini’s beaming shot was parried by Al Rayyan goalkeeper Fahad Younis.

However, The Orange Fortress could not do much during the remaining part of first half as they played second fiddle to Al Rayyan. Al Rayyan went up as Brahimi converted a penalty, awarded after Umm Salal defender Omar Yahya fouled Al Rayyan’s Under-23 player Naif Al Hadhrami. Goalkeeper Baba Malick collected the first shot taken by Brahimi, but VAR was called in and a retake was allowed for infringement by Malick. This time, the Algerian attacking midfielder made no mistake from the spot.

Umm Salal took the field after the break with renewed vigor and quick came the result, with Kayke finding the target. It may be recalled that the Brazilan forward had netted Umm Salal’s winner against Al Kharaitiyat in the previous round.

Al Ahli 2 vs Al Kharaitiyat 0

Date: Monday, December 14, 2020

Venue: Al Ahli Stadium

Al Ahli beat Al Kharaitiyat 2-0 at the Al Ahli Stadium on Monday.

Playing on home soil, Al Ahli were powered by a double from Hernan Perez (34th and 38th minutes) as they scripted their sixth win of the season to be on 19 points.

Al Kharaitiyat now stood on six points with the result. The match got off to a slow start, but soon picked up pace.

Al Ahli's first goal came after receiving a cross from Shane Lowry, Abdulrasheed Ibrahim, under pressure from Oumar Sako, back-heeled the ball towards Perez. The 31-year-old Peruvian winger, stationed unguarded near a goalpost, produced a sliding flick to send the ball into the net.

The referee sought the assistance of VAR before deciding to retain the goal.

Four minutes later, a lapse on the part of two defenders near the halfline saw Perez latch on to a long cross and charge solo towards the Al Kharaitiyat box. Keeper Mamdouh stepped out of the box to kill the move, but got beaten by an awkward bounce as Perez, with ample space to move freely, calmly ran towards the goal line before slotting the ball into an empty net.

Al Khor 1 vs Al Wakrah 0

Date: Monday, December 14, 2020

Venue: Al Ahli Stadium

Al Khor registered their first victory in the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League when they beat Al Wakrah 1-0 at the Al Ahli Stadium on Monday.

Giannis Fetfatzidid scored the all-important goal in the 31st minute. The Knights now have seven points as they have also recorded four draws and as many defeats. Al Wakrah remained on 10 points with their fifth defeat, as they once again paid the price for inconsistency in performance. The Blue Wave, who had lost to Al Sadd in the previous round, had beaten champions Al Duhail earlier in the tournament.

Al Wakrah had 61 percent possession at the final whistle, but they failed to find the target.

Al Khor took advantage of the opportunity to take the lead even though possession was almost equal in the first half. Giannis linked up well with Leonardo De Souza in taking advantage of a mis-pass on the part of Al Wakrah and grabbing the ball from near the center circle. The Greek attacking midfielder then quickly made his way into the box and unleashed a rising shot past Al Wakrah goalkeeper Mohamed Saeed.

Check out our QND 2020 guide for more information regarding the special occasion.

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