Al Sailiya managed to beat Al Kharaitiyat 3-2 in the Relegation Play-Off at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday.
The Play-Off pitted the 11th-placed team in the QNB Stars League (Al Sailiya) against runners-up (Al Kharaitiyat) in the Second Division of 2021-2022 season to determine who would earn the right to play in the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League.
Al Sailiya bounced back from a two-goal deficit as they fought their way into the game and beat Al Kharaitiyat with three second-half goals.
Al Sailiya’s goals were scored by Majdi Siddique (61st minute), Ddriss Fettouhi (77th minute) and Carlos Strandberg (90+5 minutes).
Rachid Tiberkanine (14th minute) and Mekki Tombari (51st minute) scored for Al Kharaitiyat.
In hindsight, it was Al Sailiya’s fighting spirit and their players’ better experience that helped them pull it off against a determined Al Kharaitiyat side.
After Al Sailiya dominated early exchanges, Al Kharaitiyat’s Imad Al Rawali made the first real attempt as he fired a powerful shot that was blocked by rival goalkeeper Claude Amine with difficulty and the ball bounced back to Tiberkanine who found the target.
Al Kharaitiyat continued from where they left off and doubled their lead not long after the resumption of play through Tombari.
Al Sailiya did not give up and The Peregrines reduced the margin as Majdi beat Al Kharaitiyat goalkeeper Baba Malik.
Al Sailiya continued to press hard and succeeded in drawing parity through Fettouhi.
Both teams fought it out in search of the winning goal and Al Sailiya sealed the issue deep into stoppage time through Strandberg.
It may be noted that 12th-placed team in QNB Stars League Al Khor got straightaway relegated, while Second Division champions Al Markhiya earned direct promotion to the First Division.