The 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League title race hotted up between Al Duhail and Al Arabi along with the battle to avoid relegation and Play-Off match between the bottom-placed teams after the Week 21 action held on May 3 and 4, 2023.
Al Wakrah bt Al Rayyan 1-0
Umm Salal drew Al Shamal 1-1
Al Markhiya lost to Al Sailiya 1-3
Qatar SC bt Al Ahli 2-0
Al Duhail lost to Al Sadd 1-3
Al Arabi bt Al Gharafa 3-0
The round witnessed heavy action between the teams and a total of 16 goals. The points difference between title contenders Al Duhail and Al Arabi narrowed to just two after the former lost to reigning champions Al Sadd and the latter defeated Al Gharafa. Thus, it all boils down to the final round when Al Duhail face Al Shamal and Al Arabi run into Al Sadd on May 8.
On the other hand, Al Sailiya defeated Al Markhiya to be just one point away from Umm Salal and Al Rayyan, and two points away from Al Shamal in the relegation battle.
Al Sadd deny Al Duhail
Al Sadd denied Al Duhail from becoming the champions by beating them 3-1.
Baghdad Bounedjah (41st minute), Akram Afif (51st minute) and Rodrigo Tabata (75th minute) scored for Al Sadd, while Michael Olunga scored the only goal for Al Duhail from a penalty in the 73rd minute.
It was also Kenyan striker Olunga’s 18th goal of the season and he is now tied with Omar Al Somah, who also has scored the same number of goals for Al Arabi.
Al Sadd moved on to 44 points and Al Duhail remained on 48 points, two ahead of Al Arabi.
Al Somah leads Al Arabi to valuable victory
Syrian striker Omar Al Somah Al Arabi to a 3-0 victory over Al Gharafa by scoring a hat-trick (70th, 78th minute (penalty) and 90th minutes).
Al Arabi thus kept their hopes alive of being crowned by moving on 46 points, while Al Gharafa are sixth with 32 points.
Al Sailiya keep winning
Al Sailiya managed to achieve a second successive victory by defeating Al Markhiya 3-1 and moving on to 16 points in 12th and last place, a point behind Al Rayyan and Umm Salal, and two points behind Al Shamal, while Al Markhiya are seventh with 24 points.
While Jose Correia scored for Al Markhiya in the eighth minute of the match, Mehrdad Mohammadi scored a brace in the 45th minute and 77th minute (penalty) and Ismail Khafi added one in 90+1 minute for Al Sailiya.
Meanwhile, Umm Salal and Al Shamal played out a thrilling 1-1 draw. Matias Nani scored for Al Shamal in the 24th minute and Adel Alawi equalized for Umm Salal late (90+8 minute).
Al Shamal raised their tally to 18 points in ninth place and Umm Salal are 11th with 17 points, the same as Al Rayyan, who are placed 10th.
Al Rayyan, who sought to escape from the relegation zone, were beaten 1-0 by Al Wakrah, with Mohamed Benyettou scoring the all-important goal in the 76th minute.
Al Wakrah moved on to 36 points in fourth place.
Shojae Khalilzadeh (own goal, 28th minute) and Javier Pastore (45th minute) scored the goals as Qatar SC beat Al Ahli by a 2-0 margin.
Qatar SC are in fifth position with 35 points and Al Ahli eighth with 21 points.