The Round 5 of QNB Stars League, played over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, witnessed thrilling contests, some of them upsets. While a few teams punched way above their weight, some others failed to live up to expectations.
The most notable were the first victories of newcomers Al Markhiya, Al Kharaitiyat and Al Ahli. All three were surprise wins too. Al Markhiya prevailed over Al Khor by a solitary goal to officially open their account after their victory in the first round over Al Sadd got overturned for fielding an ineligible player.
Spaniard Joaquin Caparros-coached Al Ahli shocked Qatar SC by a 3-0 margin. The result saw Gabriel Calderon’s Qatar SC being pushed from eighth to 10th in the table.
In the week’s opening action, Al Kharaitiyat had done extremely well to down Al Gharafa, who came off a win over Al Khor, 4-1. It helped Al Kharaitiyat, coached by Tunisian Ahmad Al Ajlani, move from 10th to seventh position. Nevertheless, Al Gharafa stayed sixth.
Al Ahli moved from 11th to ninth, whereas Al Markhiya stayed at the rock bottom. Thus, all 12 teams in this season’s QNB Stars League have scored at least one victory.
The leader board did not change as Al Duhail (+13) stayed atop on better goal difference than Al Sadd (+9) though they both have the same number of points (15) after maintaining an all-win record.
Al Sadd outplayed Al Arabi 3-1 in the Qatar Derby and Al Duhail had it easy against Umm Salal, winning 4-1. Al Rayyan’s 1-0 win over Al Sailiya saw The Lions leapfrog to the third spot from fourth. Al Sailiya can take heart from the fact that they put up a good fight before losing and remained fifth, a creditable achievement so far. Al Rayyan are now third, three points adrift of the top two sides.
There was not a single red card and drawn result in the round, which saw 19 goals being scored as against the previous round’s 27, the most number of goals scored for a week so far this season. There were three penalties, awarded to Al Kharaitiyat, Al Rayyan and Al Duhail.