Al Rayyan and Ahli share points, Arabi pip Al Khor

Al Rayyan now have 22 points and trail lead­ers Al Duhail by a whop­ping nine points

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT - By Sports Re­porter

Al Rayyan lost fur­ther ground in the race to­wards the QNB Stars League ti­tle when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Ahli at the Al Ahli Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

Lucca Borges scored for Al Rayyan in the fourth minute, an ad­van­tage that was nul­li­fied by Al Ahli’s Mouhcine Moutaouli in the 75th minute.

Al Rayyan now have 22 points and trail lead­ers Al Duhail by a whop­ping nine points, while Al Sadd are in sec­ond spot with 23. Al Ahli, who have had a few good re­sults in of late, are fifth on 19.

Al Rayyan were on the go from the be­gin­ning, with Brazil­ian striker Lucca spear­head­ing their at­tacks and Ro­drigo Ta­bata and Se­bas­tian So­ria play­ing the sup­port­ing roles.

Al Ahli started with­out reg­u­lar striker Me­shaal Ab­dulla and Ali Fery­doon. In­stead, Mo­hamed Mun­tari led their charge, with Moutaouli ad­vanc­ing from the mid­field.

The Li­ons made their in­ten­tions clear by surg­ing ahead early in the game when Lucca rose high to head in a cross from the right by Mowafak Awad.

Al Rayyan kept at­tack­ing even though Al Ahli had slightly more pos­ses­sion and Lucca got a chance, but Al Ahli goal­keeper Ivanildo Ro­driguez blocked his shot in a one-on-one sit­u­a­tion in the 16th minute.

Ta­bata then sent his shot over the bar from the top of penalty box in the 37th.

The sec­ond half wit­nessed more in­tense ex­changes. It was Al Rayyan who were more in the thick of ac­tion again. Ivanildo thwarted Ta­bata af­ter one hour and soon, Mun­tari came up with a fee­ble header off a Moutaouli cross. Al Rayyan goal­keeper Omar Barry eas­ily col­lected it.

Al Ahli had their best chance to re­duce deficit in the 74th minute, but Moutaouli sent his shot straight to the goal­keeper.

How­ever, The Bri­gadiers were not to be de­nied for long. They drew par­ity in the next minute as Moutaouli slammed home the ball from close range af­ter team­mate Mo­hammed Reza failed to con­nect the ball first.

Mean­while, Al Arabi recorded a hard-fought 1-0 vic­tory against a spir­ited Al Khor side at the Al Khor Sta­dium.

The only goal of the night came through Mo­hamed Salah El Neel in the 26th minute.

In a highly-com­pet­i­tive first half, the chances were few and far be­tween. Wag­ner Fer­reira had or­ches­trated much of the play for Al Khor and saw a fiery shot from dis­tance be­ing well held by op­po­si­tion goal­keeper Ma­soud Zarayi.

The deadlock was bro­ken against the run of play mid­way through the half as a re­sult of some smart link-up play be­tween Franco Hur­tado and El Neel.

Hur­tado’s lofted through ball was chased down by El Neel who fin­ished with great con­vic­tion de­spite protests from the Al Khor de­fence which claimed an in­fringe­ment in the run-up to the goal.

With much of the pos­ses­sion and op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated by Al Khor, Wag­ner was again in the act mid­way through the sec­ond half when he saw his 30-yard, whipped free-kick be­ing par­ried to safety by Zarayi.

In an­other match yes­ter­day, Al Sailiya de­feated Umm Salal 2-0 with Ab­dulqader Ilyas and Fa­had Yousef on tar­get.

It was Al Sailiya’s sixth win in 11 matches and they are fourth with 19 points.

Late on Thurs­day, Al Gharafa rode on a dou­ble strike by Wes­ley Snei­jder to beat Qatar SC 2-0. Snei­jder (45+2 penalty and 83rd minute) scored Al Gharafa’s goals. The star Dutch mid­fielder took his tally for the sea­son to six goals.

The night also turned sour for Snei­jder as he re­ceived red card for foul­ing Qatar SC goal­keeper Jas­sim al-Hail in stop­page time.

The vic­tory, Al Gharafa’s fifth in this sea­son’s league com­pe­ti­tion, saw them move to 18 points.

Al Rayyan play­ers cel­e­brate their goal against Al Ahli in the QNB Stars League yes­ter­day. PIC­TURE: Jayan Orma

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