QNB Stars League Week 16 — Al Duhail 1 Al Sailiya 0
Al Duhail defeated Al Sailiya 1-0 in Week 16 of the QNB Stars League on Saturday.
Yousef El Arabi scored the all-important goal in the 70th minute of the match played at the Al Duhail Stadium.
Al Duhail moved to 39 points and Al Sailiya stayed on 28.
Al Duhail missed the services of Qatar’s Asian Cup-winning heroes Almoez Ali and Bassam Al Rawi due to injuries, while Al Sailiya sorely missed their ace striker Rachid Tiberkanine, also through an injury.
Both teams created opportunities in the first half, reigning champions Al Duhail more of them. They were unlucky not to have scored despite dominating possession way more than their rivals.
After Al Duhail’s Paolo Edmilson tested goalkeeper Saoud A Khater, who had a good game overall, Al Sailiya’s Abdulqadir Ilyas came up with a cracker of a shot, after he capitalised on a defensive mistake, only to be blocked by goalkeeper Amine Lecomte.
Al Duhail’s top scorer Yousef El Arabi and Al Sailiya’s Nadir Belhadj too made attempts at the goal.
Soon after the restart, there were brisk activities at the Al Sailiya goal as The Red Knights upped the ante. The Al Duhail ranks thought they were in the lead when El Arabi sent a cracker of a shot against the bar in the 54th minute.
Soon, El Arabi came close off a free-kick, but was thwarted again.
Japanese professional Shoya Nakajima, whom Al Duhail signed recently in place of injured South Korean playmaker Nam Tae-Hee, rose to the occasion on his debut.
It was Nakajima who set the stage for the goal by giving a through pass to Edmilson before the latter cut the ball squarely for El Arabi to score.
Before the goal, Ilyas got another chance. However, Lecomte showed good reflex to block his shot from close range.
Al Sailiya made desperate efforts for an equaliser, but in vain.