Curtains came down on the 2021-2022 season QNB Stars League with the Week 22 action held on 10th and 11th March, 2022.
Ahead of the final round, Al Sadd had officially won the prestigious league shield for the second time in a row and record-extending 16th overall. Similarly, Al Duhail and Al Wakrah had made sure of second and third place respectively. Al Arabi sealed the fourth place following their 2-0 win over Umm Salal in Week 22, which was full of excitement.
Al Duhail drew Al Ahli 0-0
Umm Salal lost to Al Arabi 0-2
Al Sailiya bt Al Gharafa 3-2
Qatar SC lost to Al Khor 0-1
Al Rayyan bt Al Shamal 3-2
Al Sadd bt Al Wakrah 2-1
Al Duhail’s Kenyan striker Michael Olunga topped the scorers’ list with 24 goals. He was followed by Al Sadd’s Ghanaian striker Andre Ayew (15 goals), his team-mate and Qatari star Akram Afif (14 goals), Al Sadd’s Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah (13 goals), Al Wakrah’s Angolan player Jacinto Dala (12 goals).
While the league title, runners-up and third place were decided ahead of the final round, the race for the fourth spot hotted up between Al Arabi and Al Gharafa.
Al Arabi had to beat Umm Salal to settle the matter and they did just that with a 2-0 score to finish with 36 points, while Al Gharafa lost 2-3 to Al Sailiya and ended up fifth with 30 points.
The last time Al Arabi finished in the top-four bracket was in the 2010-2011 season under Brazilian coach Pericles Chamusca.
The relegation battle too hotted up between Al Sailiya and Al Khor, who both won (against Al Gharafa and Qatar SC respectively) and finished on 16 points. However, Al Sailiya finished 11th and went into the Play-Off with Second Division runners-up Al Kharaitiyat (for a place in next season’s top flight) as they had a better goal difference than Al Khor (-19 and -25). And Al Khor, who finished last in the table, got straightaway relegated to the Second Division.
Al Khor did well in beating Qatar SC with German forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s last-gasp goal, but Al Sailiya pulled off a thrilling victory over Al Gharafa as Driss Fettouhi scored the winning goal.
Competition to improve positions
In terms of positions, Umm Salal finished in sixth place with 25 points. Al Ahli too had the same number of points, but were placed seventh, on goal difference.
Al Rayyan’s 3-2 victory over Al Shamal helped them end up eighth in the table with 24 points.
Qatar SC and Al Shamal occupied the ninth and 10th position with 23 and 22 points respectively.
Meanwhile, champions Al Sadd were the only unbeaten side in the tournament. The only occasions they dropped points were against Al Duhail as their encounters in both legs ended in draws.