QNB Stars League/ Al Sadd Defeat Al Rayyan 2-1 in Qatar Clasico

Doha, January 11 (QNA) – Al Sadd defeated Al Rayyan 2-1 in the Qatar Clasico in Week 9 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Wednesday.

Andre Ayew (seventh minute) and Akram Afif (52nd minute) scored for reigning champions Al Sadd, who secured their third victory in this season’s league championship.

Steven Nzonzi pulled one back for Al Rayyan in the 56th minute.

Al Sadd moved on to 10 points with a postponed match against Qatar SC from Week 8, while Al Rayyan remained on four points following their seventh loss.

The victory in the high-profile Qatar Clasico was a big boost for Al Sadd, who have not had a good start to the season and thereby stood in the bottom half of the table. It also put the team campaign back on track as they aim to win the league that they won in the last two seasons.

Both teams, especially Al Sadd, missed some players who are doing duty for Qatar at the ongoing Gulf Cup (Gulf 25) in Basra, Iraq.

The match started off at a brisk pace and Al Sadd soon took the lead through Ghanaian professional Ayew, who capitalized on a pass by Baghdad Bounedjah.

Rodrigo Tabata missed an opportunity to double the lead in the 21st minute as his shot from outside the penalty area was off-target.

Al Rayyans response came in the 24th minute by Yohan Boli, who fired a shot from outside the penalty area. Goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari saved the effort.

However, Al Rayyan pressed hard to score the equalizer before the end of first half, but the Al Sadd goalkeeper and defenders prevented them from scoring.

In the 41st minute, Al Sadd were awarded a penalty when Akram was blocked, but it was cancelled by VAR.

In the second half, Al Rayyan intensified pressure and young player Mohammed Siraj almost scored the equaliser in the 47th minute, but for Al Dossari’s save.

Meanwhile, Akram found the target with a neat placing shot after Bounedjah’s attempt at the goal was saved.

Al Rayyan’s persistent efforts paid off soon as Frenchman Nzonzi ankled in a corner kick.

Attempts continued by both sides and Al Rayyan’s Boli almost scored a second equaliser in stoppage time with a header, but the Al Sadd goalkeeper brilliantly saved it. (QNA)

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