Al Rayyan: Ambitions and challenges
Clubs are continuing their preparations ahead of the resumption of 2019-20 QNB Stars League, with Week 18 matches starting on 24th July. The tournament, which had a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will restart as per the general plan and protocol for the remaining five rounds. Teams are fighting to occupy the top positions, improve their rankings and avoid the ignominy of relegation.
The Qatar Stars League (QSL) website highlights each team and their preparations ahead of the resumption of competitions.
Al Rayyan are gearing up for the remainder of the season under Uruguayan coach Diego Aguirre. They will play Qatar SC in Week 18 at the Al Sadd Stadium on 24th July, 2020. The kick-off is at 19:00.
Al Rayyan are second in the QNB Stars League standings with 38 points, four less than leaders Al Duhail. The Lions have 11 wins, five draws and one defeat against their name. Their goal difference is +20 (34 goals for and 14 against).
Al Rayyan have the most goal difference than any other team (Al Duhail come next with +19, while third-placed Al Sadd have +18).
Al Rayyan had beaten reigning champions Al Sadd 1-0 in the high-profile Qatar Clasico in Week 17 on 7th March before the long break. Franck Kom scored the all-important goal.
The victory also helped Al Rayyan move six points clear away from closest challengers Al Sadd.
Following their first coronavirus test, held as per the protocol developed by the QSL in co-ordination with club authorities and approved by the Ministry of Public Health, Al Rayyan squad members entered their team hotel and got engaged in training.
Their second coronavirus test was held on 28th June after which the players as well as technical and administrative staff signed a pledge to abide by the protocol for leaving team hotel for home quarantine.
There have been no changes in terms of the team’s foreign professional players, as Algerian Yacine Brahimi, Ivorian Johan Boli, Argentinian Gabriel Mercado, Cameroonian Franck Kom and South Korean Lee Jae-Ik are continuing.
Regarding local professional players, Al Rayyan announced the recruitment of Hamed Ismail from Al Sadd till the end of this season.
Despite the continuation of five professionals, Al Rayyan will miss the services of key player Rodrigo Tabata, whose contract with them has ended.
They will also depend on the rest of the stars, most notably Sebastian Soria, Khaled Muftah, Mohammed Alaaeldin, Mohammed Juma, Abdulrahman Al Harazi, Mowafaq Awad, Ahmed Abdelmaqsoud and goalkeeper Fahd Younis.
Besides intense training, Al Rayyan are readying for the resumption of action by playing friendlies. They beat Al Ahli 2-1 in one such game.
Al Rayyan’s other remaining matches in the QNB Stars League are against Al Arabi (Week 19), Al Sailiya (Week 20), Al Shahania (Week 21) and Al Wakrah (Week 22).