Reigning champions Al Sadd defeated Al Arabi 2-0 in the Qatar Derby in Week 11 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Arabi Stadium on Monday.
It was a second win in a row for The Wolves, who were strengthened by the return of some of their top stars following the 25th Gulf Cup.
Al Sadd rode on the goals from Santi Cazorla, in the 66th minute off a penalty, and captain Hassan Al Haydous in the 72nd minute.
The result took Al Sadd into fifth place in the standings with 13 points from nine matches, while Al Arabi (22 points) lost their leadership position to Al Duhail (23 points).
The Qatar Derby clash was a tough battle between Al Arabi and Al Sadd, but the latter showed a solid defence, making things difficult for The Dream Team.
Al Arabi did make a raid as early as the fifth minute, but an alert Jung Woo-Young staved off the threat.
It did not take Al Sadd to make the charge and a big chance came their way in the 15th minute when Akram Afif put Baghdad Bounedjah through with a superb cross but the Algerian star deflected it just wide of the goal.
The battle continued and in the 40th minute Al Arabi’s Yousef Msakni looked menacing, but an alert Al Sadd goalkeeper Yousef Abdullah stood ground.
Al Sadd emerged stronger in the second half, making forays and using the open spaces, yet they lacked at the finish.
The big moment came when a Bounedjah kick hit the hand of Aron Gunnarsson just on the left-side edge of the danger area. A VAR check by the referee ruled a penalty and Santi Cazorla made no mistake with the kick.
Al Sadd doubled their lead soon and with a spectacular goal. It resulted off a free-kick that was headed off by an Al Arabi defender, but the ball went straight to Al Haydous who was waiting outside the box. He seized the opportunity essaying a superb volley which went through the legs of two defenders and deflected off a third and beat a diving goalkeeper to his left.
There on, Al Arabi found it difficult to challenge Al Sadd though they tried to push hard.
In the 79th minute, a Msakni header went well above the target while another of his effort in the added time did not have much pace and went straight to the goalkeeper.