Al Sadd finish on a high note where Al Rayyan seal top-four spot


Al Rayyan rode on two brilliant braces from Brazilian Lucca Borges and Sebastian Soria to defeat Qatar SC 4-3 to seal a top-four finish in the QNB Stars League (QSL) this season.

At Al Sadd Stadium, Qatar SC took an early lead with Youssef Farhat scoring in the eighth minute, only to see Brazilian Lucca Borges levelling the scores three minutes later. The former Barca star Samuel Eto’o put Qatar SC ahead again in the 31st minute but Luka equalized for the second time in the 65th minute.

Al Rayyan took the lead for the first time in the 68th minute when Sebastien Syria stuck a beauty, but Qatar SC, fighting for their place in the QSL for another year, equalled for a third time through Mohammed Salem Al Rubaie in the 74th minute.

Soria brought a sigh of relief for Al Rayyan when he netted their fouth just four minutes later as they secured a top four finish in the final standings.

Al Rayyan finished off with 37 points in front of their name as Qatar SC’s 16 points placed them in the 11th position.

Qatar SC will now have to beat the Second Division runner-up, to stay in the QSL next season.

Earlier, the newly-crowned QSL champions Al Sadd completed their superlative season with a 6-1 thumping win at home to Umm Salal.

Al Sadd’s goals were scored by Boualem Khoukhi in the 30th minute, Hassan Al Haydous (41st), Hassan Ahmed (57th), Akram Afif (63rd and 69th) and Ali Asad (65th).

Al Sadd’s sixth goal yesterday was also their 100th this season.

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Umm Salal replied through Yannick Sagbo in the 34th minute.

For much of the early exchanges, there was parity between the two sides, but this changed in the 30th minute when Khoukhi rose highest to meet a free-kick from the right to get the game’s first goal.

Against the odds, Umm Salal were back level only minutes later when Sagbo drove home a powerful shot across the face of the keeper. It did not take long for the champions to get back ahead when they were awarded a penalty by VAR following a foul on Al Haydous. There was no mistake with the penalty and the Al Sadd captain earned his side a half-time lead.

What happened next was a display of championship-winning football from The Wolves as they ripped the opposition apart with blistering attacking menace inside a 12-minute spell.

First came Hassan with an acrobatic volley from close range, before Akram was first to react to a rebound and slotted home. Moments later, it was the turn of Asad who latched onto a pass from Hamed Ismail and struck his shot past the sprawling arms of the goalkeeper.

Akram completed the scoring, as he reacted to an Al Haydous cut-back in the box. The champions were in fine form and completed the season in the best way possible.

Al The Al Gharafa Stadium, Al Khraitiyat suffered another big loss, this time in the hands of Al Sailiya who prevailed with a 5-2 margin. That also confirmed that Al Kharaitiyat dropped to the Second Division.

Meanwhile, at Al Arabi Stadium, former champions Al Duhail rounded off their QSL campaign with a 3-0 win over the hosts.

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Elsewhere, Al Shahania finished their campaign on a high as they leapfrogged Al Gharafa in final standings, thanks to a 3-0 victory over their rivals.