Doha, February 04 (QNA) – Reigning champions Al Sadd beat Umm Salal 2-0 in Week 13 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday, making their fourth successive win.

Baghdad Bounedjah (ninth minute) and Akram Afif (88th minute) scored for the winners.

It took them to 19 points from 11 matches.

Al Sadd, who took to the field sans their star and skipper Hassan Al Haydous, excelled equally good, with goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari holding the captain’s armband.

The Wolves began strongly and with a free-flowing play challenging their rivals and it did not take them long to fetch the lead.

Al Sadd combined superbly to provide the opening goal for their fans. A through ball saw the mercurial Akram Afif run down the left swiftly to connect and pass it to his right for Mohammed Waad to strike from the centre. The kick saw Umm Salal goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar fall down in the process and for the ball to ricochet and Bounedjah rushed in to score coolly.

Having taken the lead, Al Sadd were more on the offensive, but Umm Salal held on well. In the 24th minute, Afif was in the clear at the top of the box and essayed a left-foot kick but this time Ababacar did well to stop it.

In the 44th minute, Afif’s free-kick was deflected by Santi Cazorla towards the goal, but again Ababacar foiled the attempt.

In the 68th minute, Al Sadd’s Boualem Khoukhi grabbed a cross from Bounedjah in a good chance, but his kick went just wide of the goal.

Umm Salal pressed hard through their forward Joao Teixeira and Jonathan Kodjia but their attempts were staved off by the Al Sadd custodian.

Umm Salal suffered a blow in the 78th minute when their left-back Atef Mohammed was given marching orders after a second yellow after a sliding foul against a rushing Khoukhi. Umm Salal’s hopes were further dented as Afif produced the second goal which again had superb combination of Al Sadd players. Running down the left, Afif gave a pass to Bounedjah just outside the box on the left.

Bounedjah broke into the danger area and sent a cross to Ali Asad, who relayed the ball back to Afif waiting in the centre to score.

The result meant that Umm Salal remained on seven points.


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