Strong performance by Al Sailiya in QNB Stars League
Al Sailiya reaped the rewards for putting up consistent performances as they stood third in the QNB Stars League table before the competition was stopped after 15 weeks of action.
The 2018-19 QNB Stars League will resume after the Asian Cup in the UAE from 5th January to 1st February.
Al Sailiya have 28 points from nine victories, one draw and five defeats to be placed ahead of Al Rayyan, who have one point less.
The Peregrines have a goal difference of +11, having scored 27 goals and conceded 16. Their attack line is the joint third (along with Al Gharafa who have also scored 27 goals), after Al Sadd (65) and Al Duhail (37).
Al Sailiya’s defence is the best, after Al Duhail (13), Al Sadd and Al Rayyan (both conceded 14 goals).
Tunisian Sami Trabelsi’s men kicked off their campaign on a strong note, winning 2-1 against Umm Salal in Week 1. And they went into the ongoing long break also on a victorious note, having earned a 2-1 win over Al Khor in Week 15.
Their biggest victory margin has been 5-0, against Al Kharaitiyat in Week 11, while the biggest defeat margin has been 1-3, against Al Shahania in Week 9.
Al Sailiya registered three victories in three consecutive weeks (11, 12 and 13), over Al Kharaitiyat, Umm Salal and Al Gharafa in that order.
They have suffered back-to-back defeats only once, in Weeks 9 and 10, against Al Shahania and Al Rayyan respectively.
Al Sailiya are also known to have stability on the technical front as well. Trabelsi has been coaching the side for the sixth season in a row, having joined them in the 2013-14 season, and has succeeded in moulding them into a fighting unit.
That season was the best for Trabelsi with Al Sailiya as they finished the league in the top-four bracket besides reaching the Emir Cup final, where they lost to Al Sadd. They also played in the Qatar Cup for the first time in their history.
Trabelsi has the trust of the club management and he is delivering the goods for the side, as is evident from their creditable finish in the league championship over the years.
Coming to players, a large number of them have been together for many years and that is also making a big difference.
Ahead of the current season, Al Sailiya made some additions to the squad. Three foreign professionals were hired — Syrian Fahad Al Yousef, Brazilian Mauricio Ramos and Moroccan striker Rashid Tiberkanine from Al Kharaitiyat.
Tiberkanine is their leading goal getter and gels well with fellow-striker Abdulqadir Ilyas, who joined the team this season.
Tiberkanine and Ilyas have so far scored 12 and 10 goals respectively. They are well supported by Algerian star Nadir Belhadj, Abdulkarim Salim Al Ali, Hamad Al Obaidi, Majdi Siddiq, Mohammed Al Marri, Ghanem Al Qahtani and Saoud Al Khater among other players.
For sure, Al Sailiya will look to sustain the momentum when the QNB Stars League resumes in early February.