QNB Stars League Week 20 — Al Duhail 2 Al Sadd 2
Reigning champions Al Duhail and table toppers Al Sadd, the two best teams in town, were locked in an electrifying 2-2 draw in their QNB Stars League Week 20 heavyweight clash on Saturday.
Moroccan striker Yousef El Arabi, the last two seasons’ league top scorer in Qatar, struck both goals for Al Duhail in the 75th and 85th minutes. The second goal came off a penalty kick, awarded by referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim after Hamed Ismail fouled substitute Ali Afif.
Ace Algerian striker and tournament top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah had put Al Sadd ahead by scoring in the 26th minute. The Wolves were helped by an own goal by substitute Murad Naji at the stroke of final whistle (90+5).
Al Sadd and Al Duhail now have 51 and 47 points respectively.
Much was at stake for the match as it would decided the title and Al Sadd would have been crowned had they won the match.
On the other hand, Al Duhail needed only a draw to stay in the title race.
Al Sadd, captained by Xavi Hernandez, could have been in the lead in the 14th minute had Akram Afif not been thwarted from the spot by Al Duhail goalkeeper Amine Lecomte. The penalty came as a result of a foul by Mohammed Moosa on Bounedjah.
The Red Knights could have equalised in the 45th minute had Japanese midfielder Shoya Nakajima’s chip shot after evading three defenders not hit against the crossbar.
The match, played at the Al Duhail Stadium in front of 6,337 spectators, had all the ingredients of a thriller.
Al Sadd called the shots early on, but Al Duhail grew into the game as it wore on.
Al Sadd had beaten Al Duhail 3-1 in the first leg.
If Al Sadd beat Al Ahli in Week 21 on 4th April, they will become the 2018-19 QNB Stars League champions irrespective of Al Duhail's result.