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Afif nets hat-trick as Al Sadd Club pummel Al Khor 6-2

Qatar Tribune logo Qatar Tribune 17/02/2019 Qatar Tribune
a group of football players on a field: Afif nets hat-trick as Al Sadd Club pummel Al Khor 6-2 © Provided by Qatar Tribune Afif nets hat-trick as Al Sadd Club pummel Al Khor 6-2

IKOLI VICTOR

Doha

Asian Cup 2019 winner Akram Afif continued his rich form scoring a spectacular hat-trick as Al Sadd thrashed Al Khor 6-2 to maintain their two-point lead over Al Duhail on Saturday.

Eight members of Qatar’s Asian winning squad started the game for the Wolves and they ran riot against the bottom club. Afif grabbed the opener in the seventh minute with fine side-footed shot off a Hassan Haydos cross. Three minutes later, Spanish player Gabi set him up for his second goal with a delightful finish past the rushing Mohammed al Bakri.

Hamid Ismaeil added the third just before half-time to give Al Sadd a two-goal cushion after Wagner scored for Al Khor.

South Korean Jung Woo-Young scored his first goal for the club with free-kick in the 55th minute. Two minutes later, the league’s top marksman Baghdad Bounedjah made it 5-1 for his record 30th goal of the season.

Bounedjah was on hand to assist Afif for his second hat-trick of the season and Sadd’s sixth in the 64th minute. Thiago Bezerra’s penalty goal in added time cut the deficit to make it 6-2.

The result means Al Sadd with 41 points have scored an incredible 71 goals in 16 matches.

In another entertaining encounter, a draw looked likely for Sami Trabelsi’s Al Sailiya side as Al Duhail breathed life to their title defence with a hard earned 1-0 win at the Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Stadium.

Youssef El Arabi scored from close range after Edmilson’s threaded pass to take the Red Knights to 39 points. Al Sailiya remain in fifth place and are 11 points behind Al Duhail.

Portuguese coach Rui Faria gave playmaker Nakajima Shoya his league debut and the Japanese did not disappoint. Only Karim Boudiaf started the match among the Al Duhail players that won the Asian Cup 2019 against Japan in the UAE. Assim Madibo saw action for only four minutes, while Ali Afif was a second half substitute and the tournament’s record scorer Almoez Ali was not dressed for the encounter.

There was no Rachid Tiberkanine for Al Sailiya as Illyas didn’t disappoint with his prowess in aerial battles.

The home team started well and did not allow the visitors to settle, disrupting their rhythm with Karim Bouadiaf, Luiz Mairten and Sultan al Breik breaking up play in midfield.

When Duhail got beyond the Peregrines trio, they encountered another defensive wall in Mauricio Ramos, George Kwasi and Ahmed al Minhali.

El Arabi needing the slightest touch to face the keeper but failed to control Edmilson’s cross inside the box. The Brazilian tried a long range strike that never troubled keeper Mubarak.

As the game into first half stoppage time, they knew they have achieved their aim frustrating the defending champions and wait for their momentsw.

In the second half, Al Sailiya looking more purposeful had the first sight at goal with Illyas cracking shot rattling Lecomte. Minutes later, veteran Nadir Belhadj found space just outside the box after Fahd Youssef teed the ball for the Algerian who blasted wide.

Duhail continued their pressing which saw Muntari’s effort thwarted by the rushing Mubarak in the 52nd minute.

Just when everything seemed plausible for striker El Arabi to find the back of the net but his shot agonisingly crashed to the bar in the 56th minute. Two minutes later, it was Benatia whose shot was blocked inside the box.

Following an attack by Sailiya that yielded no result, Duhail launched a counter attack by Edmilson who found El Arabi. The striker was however stoped before he get on his stride by the Al Sailiya custodian just inside centre half of Sailiya.

Nakajima tried a shot from 20 metres which Mubarak almost fumbled as the ball fell from his hand for a corner kick.

Finally the deadlock was broken in the 70th minute after Nakajima’s through pass found Edmilson who unselfishly squared the ball for his teammate El Arabi to tap in from close range despite Ramos’ charge.

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