The QNB Stars League resumed after a two-month break with Week 16 action that saw exciting contests, interesting incidents and a total of 19 goals.
The battle on top continued to be hot as reigning champions Al Duhail kept pace with leaders Al Sadd, with both winning.
Al Sadd had it easy over Al Ahli as they won 6-2, with Akram Afif scoring a hat-trick, to be on 41 points, two more than Al Duhail.
Al Duhail’s victory was against Al Sailiya, Moroccan striker Yousef El Arabi netting the all-important goal.
Al Sailiya thus slipped to fifth as they remained on 28 points.
Al Rayyan jumped from the fourth spot to third with a 3-1 victory against Al Arabi in a much-awaited battle fought in front of a good number of spectators. The Lions now have 30 points.
Al Ahli made headlines as they stormed into the top four following their 2-1 victory over Al Kharaitiyat. The Brigadiers are only one point adrift of Al Rayyan.
Umm Salal too made it big by defeating Al Gharafa 2-1 and moved to 20 points, in the process moving from eighth spot to seventh.
Al Gharafa (18 points) fell from seventh to eighth).
Bottom side Al Kharaitiyat’s woes thus compounded as they stare at relegation with just three points.
Al Khor are also in danger zone with nine points. They are 11th.
Al Shahania and Qatar SC played out a goalless draw to stay ninth and 10th with 17 and 16 points respectively.
The week saw five new coaches at the helm. While Rui Faria (Al Duhail), Raul Caneda (Umm Salal), Bulent Uygun (Al Rayyan, after formal registration) and Ruben de la Barrera (Al Ahli) made it memorable by winning with their teams, Heimir Hallgrimson (Al Arabi) unfortunately was on the losing side.
Among the new player signings, Al Rayyan’s Gelmin Rivas (two goals and one assist in their 3-1 win over Al Arabi), Al Duhail’s Mehdi Ben Attiya and Shoya Nakajima excelled.