Qatar Stars League - Round 20
Round 20 of the QSL season, saw the title race tighten up along with a side now cut adrift at the foot of the QSL standings. In our weekly feature talking points, QSL online picks over the moments that mattered in the latest round of the season.
The standout fixture of the weekend between Al Rayyan and table topping Lekhwiya certainly didn’t disappoint, with the game a perfect advert for what the QSL can offer. Both sides canceled each other out in a 1-1 draw, however the intensity and end to end action, made it one of the most interesting matches of the weekend. Understandably the match was a tight and tetchy affair with both sides creating little chances of note. This all changed in the second half in the 77th minute when Lekhwiya striker Yusef El Arabi knocked in his 21st goal of the season against the run of play for the league leaders. Credit to Al Rayyan, they rallied and six minutes later found a leveler courtesy of Spanish striker Sergio Garcia.
With Lekhwiya dropping points, it gave the opportunity for Al Sadd to close the gap on the league leaders to just three points. Jesaldo Ferriera’s side duely took their opportunity with a comprehensive 3-1 win over rock bottom Al Wakrah. Sadd midfielder Xavi put in a captain’s performance notching a brace for his side. The result will be a real worry for Wakrah, who are now three points adrift at the foot of the table, and six points away from safety. With only six games left of the season, time is running out for Kais Yâakoubi’s Al Wakrah side. El Jaish returned to winning ways for the first time in five QSL matches, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over struggling Al Shahania. Sabri Lamouchi has Uzbekistan international Sardor Rashidov to thank for the win. The flying winger grabbed a brace, including a stunning free kick to guarantee all three points for the soldiers.
Whilst the biggest shock of the weekend has to go to Al Arabi, who ran out 2-0 winners over Al Gharafa. The Dream team has endured a stop-start season, but is slowly finding their feet under Brazilian tactician Osvaldo Olivera. The veteran coach certainly outwitted his opposite number Pedro Caixinia on Thursday evening with Arabi taking Al Gharafa on the break thanks to second half goals from Luis Jiménez and Yusef Ahmed.
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