Round 17 of the QSL season saw shock comebacks and important victories at both ends of the QSL standings. In our weekly feature on QSL online we pick out the talking points from the round.
Wins for Al Khor and Sailiya ease relegation fears
Two sides towards the foot of the QSL standings registered big wins to boost their survival hopes no end. Al Khor opened up round 17 with a commanding 2-0 win over Al Kharaitiyat on Friday evening. The Knights looked in control throughout the tie and goals from Kuwaiti defender Sultan Al Enezi and summer signing Babou Sidiki gave Jean Fernandez side all three points, pushing them into eighth place and crucially four points away from the drop.
Al Sailiya have new signing Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov to thank for their 1-0 victory over Umm Salal. The Uzbek player stepped up to slot away the crucial penalty in the first half, and Sami Trabelsi’s boys held on for a vital win. The result means that Sailiya have pulled themselves out of the QSL relegation zone, Perigrines boss Sami Trabelsi will be targeting back to back wins in round 18, when Sailiya face fellow strugglers Al Shahania.
Lekhwiya showing championship quality
Lekhwiya showed plenty of fighting spirit on Sunday evening coming back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with relegation threatened Al Wakrah. The draw means that the Red Knights are now undefeated in 17 QSL games this season, and despite dropping points have a three point gap at the top of the QSL standings.
The never-say-die attitude of the four times QSL champions has been characterized by crucial late goals in recent weeks, which has saved points for Djamel Belmadi’s side. Lekhwiya march on in round 18, when they have a tough away assignment at a tricky Al Arabi side.
Al Rayyan rediscovering winning ways
Current QSL champions Al Rayyan perhaps posted the most impressive result of round 17, brushing aside top four rivals El Jaish with a 4-1 win. The Lions looked to have regained their form which saw them lift the QSL title last season, and now have six wins from their last seven QSL games.
Central to this upturn in fortunes have been the front three of Garcia, Soria and Tabata finding their goal scoring touch again. Al Rayyan will take on Al Kharaitiyat and will be targeting a sixth straight win. As for El Jaish, they have come a long way since leading the league since the start of the season. A run of poor results, thanks to player injuries and suspension have now seen the soldiers slip to fourth place in the QSL standings.