QNB Stars League Week 18 – Al Sadd 2 Al Khor 1
Al Sadd defeated Al Khor 2-1 in Week 18 of the 2019-20 season QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.
Qatar international forward Akram Afif scored both goals for the reigning champions, who moved on to 35 points with their 11th victory. The 2019 AFC Player of the Year struck in the 25th and 45+2 minutes.
On the other hand, Al Khor, whose only goal was scored by Tiago Bezerra in the 27th minute, stood on 14 points following their 10th defeat.
Yet, Al Sadd’s chances of retaining the title are remote as they are eight points adrift of leaders Al Duhail, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Umm Salal in the day’s earlier kick-off.
Meanwhile, Al Khor still stare at relegation as only Al Shahania are behind them in the rankings.
Al Sadd had beaten Al Khor by an identical margin in their first-leg match, which was deferred and was played on 21st January this year due to the latter’s AFC Champions League commitment.
Al Sadd enjoyed 59 per cent possession after both halves. The Wolves surged ahead as a result of the culmination of a move that originated from Baghdad Bounedjah. Akram was then fed through a backheeled pass by Abdulaziz Al Ansari and the former made no mistake in beating Al Khor goalkeeper Baba Djibril.
Al Khor struck back in no time as Tiago capitalised on a momentary lapse by the Al Sadd defenders in judging the flight of an oncoming through pass and the Brazilian found the target past goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari.
What turned out to be the winning goal was scored by Akram off a free-kick taken by Nam Tae-Hee as the first half drew to a close.
The match failed to produce any other goal despite the efforts by Al Sadd’s Pedro Miguel, Boualem Khoukhi, Nam and Bounedjah, and Al Khor’s Ahmed Hammoudan and Lucca Borges.
Al Sadd, pushing to increase their margin, brought in Hassan Al Haydous and Abdelkarim Hassan as the match wore on.
Al Sadd had Al Dossari to thank for as he saved a penalty kick taken by Tiago in the dying moments of the game (90+3), referee Hamad Al Subaie awarding it when Al Dossari brought down Tiago in the area.