Promoted side Al Markhiya defeated Al Sadd 4-3 in Week 1 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.
Second Division champions Al Markhiya thus got off the mark with three points.
Jugurtha Hamroun (45+1 minute), Aymen Hussein (50th and 79th minutes) and Ali Saeed Al Mohannadi (81st minute) scored the goals for Al Markhiya, while reigning champions Al Sadd scored through Rodrigo Tabata (fifth minute), Baghdad Bounedjah (37th minute) and Santi Cazorla (90+2 minute).
The match was off to a fast start and Al Sadd managed to take an early lead through Tabata, who managed to send in a free-kick from outside the penalty area into the Al Markhiya net.
Al Markhiya’s Ali Saeed made an attempt in the 22nd minute with a shot, which was narrowly saved by Al Sadd goalkeeper Jehad Mohammed. However, the enthusiasm of Al Markhiya players increased, who continued to put pressure on Al Sadd’s goal.
Bounedjah succeeded in doubling Al Sadd’s lead, after Ahmed Al Saeed’s cross from the left, beating Al Markhiya goalkeeper Louay Sharif and the goal was confirmed through VAR technology.
The last minutes of the first half witnessed the peak of excitement and Hamroun reduced the margin in injury time.
Al Markhiya went into the second half with force and great focus, and intensified their pressure. Iraqi Aymen managed to score the equalizer for his team by taking advantage of the Al Sadd goalkeeper’s failure to clear the ball.
Even though Al Sadd pressed hard, Al Markhiya managed to score two consecutive goals, first through Aymen again and then Ali Saeed.
The final moments saw hectic action and Cazorla pulled one back for Al Sadd in the second minute of stoppage time, but that was not enough for the holders.