QNB Stars League Week 14 - Al Rayyan 1 Al Duhail 0
Al Rayyan shocked leaders Al Duhail 1-0 in Week 14 of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.
Al Rayyan’s new recruit Yohan Boli netted the all-important goal in the 64th minute.
Al Duhail thus suffered their first defeat in this season’s league competition. Nevertheless, they remained on top of the standings with 33 points, whereas Al Rayyan moved on to 31 points, one more than third-placed Al Sadd.
The first half of the high-voltage clash between the teams in the top bracket was even in terms of possession and the chances created.
Al Duhail, playing their first match under new Moroccan coach Walid Regragui who replaced Portuguese Rui Faria, resorted to long passes initially, perhaps aimed mainly at the good reach of tall striker Mario Mandzukic.
Al Duhail enjoyed more ball possession than Al Rayyan in the first half even though there were no serious attempts at the goal by either side.
Al Rayyan took the lead when Boli connected a defence-splitting through pass from Yacine Brahimi before beating goalkeeper Amine Lecomte.
Soon, Al Duhail replaced Mandzukic with Mohammed Muntari to bolster their attack. They also brought in Ali Afif in place of Sultan Al Breik.
Al Rayyan made one change in their ranks as Sultan Al Kuwari came off the bench for Rodrigo Tabata.
However, the status quo remained and Al Rayyan cruised to a famous victory which, in fact, was a lifeline for them having gone through tough times.
Al Rayyan, who had the ignominy of losing to Al Sadd by a 1-4 margin in the semifinal of 2020 Qatar Cup, crashed to their first loss in the 2019-20 QNB Stars League, going down 2-4 to Al Gharafa.
They then lost 0-5 to Iran’s Esteghlal in the 2020 AFC Champions League play-off.
Al Duhail, on the other hand, are having a roller-coaster ride. They had lost 0-4 to Al Sadd in the 2020 Qatar Cup final, but recovered to beat Al Arabi 3-1 in Week 13 of the QNB Stars League.
Al Duhail and Al Rayyan had played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of 2019-20 QNB Stars League.