The battle for the top ranking of 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League continued during Week 9 action, with Al Duhail and Al Arabi swapping the top place with their results and the latter eventually reclaiming their leadership position.
Al Arabi stayed on the top with 22 points having scored seven victories this season and their second in a row after the league resumed after the World Cup break with a 2-1 over Al Wakrah, who remained third in the standings with 15 points. Al Wakrah suffered their first defeat of the tournament. They also have a postponed match to play.
While Syrian striker Omar Al Somah had scored two goals for Al Arabi in the Week 8 match against Al Ahli, it was Tunisian Yousef Msakni who provided Al Arabi the big boost with two goals in the ninth round against Al Wakrah. Msakni is now one goal away from becoming the top scorer of the season. Currently Al Wakrah’s Jacinto Dala with eight goals holds that place.
Al Duhail briefly claimed the top ranking before Al Arabi reclaimed it. The Red Knights had to battle from being a goal down in their 3-1 win over Umm Salal, who suffered their first loss after four matches.
Umm Salal remain in 10th place with seven points and have a postponed match from Week 8.
Al Duhail survived some anxious moments before excelling towards the end scoring the three goals starting from the 81st minute. It was again their international defender Bassam Al Rawi who scored for the second match in a row, while Michael Olunga scored twice within three minutes, to increase his tally to seven goals and close in on the top scorers.
Despite the decline in the results of the two teams, the Qatar Clasico between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd enjoyed great importance and the exciting game fulfilled its promise during the meeting.
Al Sadd knew they had to settle matters by scoring an early goal through Andre Ayew before returning international Akram Afif increased the lead at the beginning of the second half, but the goal of Steven Nzonzi, which reduced the scoreline, added to the excitement of the match. However, Al Sadd held on till the final whistle to gain the valuable three points and raise their tally to 10.
Al Sadd are eighth in the table (on goal difference) while Al Shamal are seventh and Al Rayyan 11th.
The contest between Qatar SC and Al Gharafa witnessed goals galore, with the former slamming in five to affirm their superiority. It adds to the morale for the team looking for more progress in the rankings.
Qatar SC are in fifth place with 13 points behind fourth-placed Al Ahli, who also have a postponed match from the eighth week.
Al Gharafa, who lost their second game post break, have now conceded eight in the two matches which has seen their position drop from fourth to sixth in the rankings having 12 points.
Al Ahli (13 points) overcame their shock loss against Al Arabi in the previous round with a late goal in the 2-1 win over Al Sailiya - who remain 12th in the rankings with four points after being handed their seventh defeat of the season.