Qatar Stars League Season Review
The 2016/2017 QSL season came to a close on Saturday evening as Lekhwiya lifted their fifth QSL falcon shield in seven seasons. Overall the title race was a tight affair between Lekhwiya and Al Sadd, with the Red Knights beating their fierce rivals to the crown in round 25 after Al Sadd dropping points in a 2-2 with Al Sailiya. Lekhwiya enjoyed an impressive season, only falling to one defeat at the hands of Umm Salal. Djamel Belmadi’s boys won the league with a tally of 63 points. Along with one defeat, Lekhwiya only drew on six occasions along with 19 wins. The Red Knights are also the leading goal scorers this campaign finding the back of the net on 79 occasions. Only two points behind is Al Sadd, who also lost only once in the domestic season against their title rivals Lekhwiya. Jesaldo Ferriera’s side have been playing an exciting brand of attacking football this season, and pushed Lekhwiya all the way to the end in the QSL title race. The Wolves picked up 61 points this term, registering 18 wins 7 draws and just one defeat. Sadd also have the envious record of the best defense in the league conceding only 23 goals in 26 games this season. Former champions Al Rayyan finished the season in third place. The Lions brought in Danish coach Michael Laudrup just two rounds into the season after Jorge Fossati was called up to manage the Qatar national team. After initially struggling, Al Rayyan found their feet in the league and secured 51 points this season. 15 wins, 6 draws and just 5 defeats is the sides record during the 2016/2017 campaign. El Jaish looked to be title contenders before falling away drastically in the second half of the season. Sabri Lamouchi’s side picked up 45 points overall, and secured Qatar cup qualification with two rounds to spare. The soldiers where drastically effected by injuries and suspensions over the cause of the season. Overall Jaish secured 13 wins, 6 draws and 7 defeats over the season. Al Gharafa enjoyed a strong season under Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinia, and ran out of steam after Caixinia was hired by Rangers in Scotland. The Cheetahs finished in a creditable fifth place, and picked up 12 wins, 4 draws and 10 defeats over the course of the season and finshed with a tally of 40 points. Umm Salal ended the season strongly to finish in sixth place in the QSL standings. The Orange Fortress dismissed Bülent Uygun following a 8-0 defeat to Al Sadd, and his replacement Mahmoud Jaber settled well to rally the side up the league 9 wins, 10 draws and 7 defeats is Umm Salal’s record this season. Al Kharaitiyat also enjoyed a late season surge to finish well away from the relegation zone. 10 wins, 4 draws and 11 defeats is the Thunders record this season. Under Ahmad Al-Ajlani Kharaitiyat won seven of their last eight games to pull into mid-table security. Al Sailiya endured a scrappy 2016/2017 QSL campaign, only confirming safety with two rounds to spare. Sami Trabelsi’s team picked up 28 points in a largely forgettable campaign. Al Arabi had high expectations for the league this season; however 3 coaches later they ended up in tenth place with a tally of 28 points. Some serious questions will need to be asked of the Al Arabi management in the summer. Al Ahli also endured a poor season by their standards picking up just 27 points this season. Al Khor battled out of relegation trouble again this season, with Jean Fernandez’s side confirming their safety with a round to spare. The Knights picked up 25 points registering 6 wins, 7 draws and 13 defeats this season. Al Shahanaia is set for a relegation play-off to determine their fate in the QSL against Qatar SC. The Oryxes picked up a tally of 22 points picking up just 3 wins along with 13 draws (the most in the league) and 10 defeats. In the relegation zone, Al Wakrah are joined by Muather who picked up respective tallies of 20 and 15 points respectively.