QNB Stars League Week 22 — Al Arabi 0 Al Duhail 3
Al Duhail rounded off their 2018-19 season QNB Stars League campaign with a 3-0 win over Al Arabi on Saturday.
Bassam Al Rawi (40th minute), Paolo Edmilson (51st) and Yousef El Arabi (73rd) scored the goals as Al Duhail finished on 50 points following their 15th victory.
Al Arabi failed to build on their win over Qatar SC in the previous round and remained on 30 points after crashing to their 12th defeat.
Having assured themselves of the runners-up place behind newly-crowned champions Al Sadd, 2017-18 QNB Stars League champions Al Duhail took the field with key players like El Arabi, Murad Naji, Karim Boudiaf and Mohammed Moosa on the bench.
El Arabi, the last two seasons’ league top scorer in Qatar, Boudiaf and Moosa came on in the second half and El Arabi found the target as well.
The Red Knights thus put behind the disappointment of losing to Al Kharaitiyat in Week 21.
Bassam opened the scoring with a measured free-kick that beat the hands of goalkeeper Gregory Gomis as the first half came to a close without much of hectic action and with Shoya Nakajima and Diego Jardel pulling the strings from the middle for Al Duhail and Al Arabi respectively.
Al Duhail moved up a gear in the second half and Nakajima had a powerful shot blocked by Gomis even as the latter’s Al Arabi counterpart Khalifa Aboobacker was not kept busy at the other end.
Edmilson scored with a rising shot, while El Arabi’s goal had his brilliance written all over it.
Al Arabi captain and goalkeeper Masoud Zarayi, who announced his retirement after this season to put an end to a playing career that spanned 20 years during which he contributed a lot to The Dream Team in various tournaments, came off the bench in the 86th minute for his last match, replacing Gomis.
Masoud, who was honoured with the captain’s armband, came up with a brilliant save to thwart Nakajima towards the end.
That was after Gaser Yahia tested Khalifa Aboobacker.