QNB Stars League Week 4 - Al Sadd 2 Umm Salal 1
Al Sadd came through a tight match to continue their march towards the top of 2019-20 QNB Stars League, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Umm Salal in Week 4 at the Al Janoub Stadium on Friday.
The home side struck through Akram Afif in the 19th minute and Baghdad Bounedjah in the 34th minute (penalty). Umm Salal’s Yannick Sagbo was on the scoresheet with a ninth-minute strike.
The match started in rapid fashion as Umm Salal were able to make their possession count with an early breakthrough. Mahmoud Al Mawas dispossessed Salem Al Hajri as he was trying to shepherd the ball out of play, before laying off the ball to Sagbo from the byline, and the big Ivorian was on hand to score the game’s first goal.
He nearly doubled the lead moments later with a half volley, but his effort flew marginally over the crossbar.
Al Sadd were not to be denied for long though and were back in the game, thanks to a wonderful piece of play by Hassan Al Haydous. His exquisite chipped through ball over the defence, reminiscent of his coach Xavi Hernandez, was met by the run of Akram whose first-time shot left the goalkeeper with no chance.
Following their equaliser, The Wolves were in the ascendency and got their bonus after being awarded a penalty when Adil Rhaili brought down Bounedjah in the penalty area. The Al Sadd front man got back on his feet to coolly convert and put his side in front.
In a reverse of their first goal, Umm Salal came close to a second when Sagbo became the supplier from the byline, only to see Al Mawas’ shot well saved by Saad Al Dossari.
A goalless second half saw both teams continue to attack, with neither side looking to concede the match. Umm Salal had again started strongly and somehow Rhaili saw his close-range header from a corner drift frustratingly wide.
Sagbo later forced another fine save out of Al Dossari from distance as they pressed for the equaliser. This approach often left them short at the back with Bounedjah in particular causing problems at the other end.
His header from Al Haydous’ cross was superbly saved by Yazan Naim against the odds. With the match all but finished, Al Haydous nearly secured a third with a shot powered just wide, but all in all, the third goal was not needed as Al Sadd completed a well-fought win.