Undefeated Al Duhail Crowned QNB Stars League Champions

Published April 8th, 2018 - 07:11 GMT
Photo: Qatar Tribune
Photo: Qatar Tribune

Al Duhail were crowned Qatar's top flight QNB Stars League Champions for a second consecutive season after thrashing Al Sailiya 5-2 on Saturday to amass 60 points and doing so unbeaten in 22 matches with record 86 goals scored.

Captain Youssef Msakni lifted the Falcon Shield in front of cheering fans, QFA officials and teammates.

A five-match winning streak set the tone for the Red Knights followed by an eight-match consecutive win including today's game was definitive in the road to the title.

There was a guard of honour by the Al Sailiya players before kick-off at the Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Stadium.

The championship is Duhail's sixth in eight seasons, by far the most dominant side in the country in a decade. They have raised the bar with their feat this season and it will be interesting to see how far they will go in the AFC Champions League this season.

Ismail Mohamed and Nam Tae both scored a brace and Almoez Ali was on target. Valentin Lazar scored Sailiya's two goals in the game.

Duhail took the lead in the 8th minute after a gorgeous sequence. Abdelrahman whipped in a cross toward Ismail Mohamed inside the box that rolled loosely for the quick Almoez Ali to slot into the net.

Ismail Mohamed provided the second of the game to all but wrap up the win in the 28th minute following some lacklustre defending by Sailiya. The winger benefited from Karim Boudiaf's brilliant pass as he surged into the the opponent's box before smashing the ball past the hapless keeper Abdrahma Aziz.

Duhail's incessant pressure almost yielded another goal when youngster Abdelrahman had his shot saved by the Sailiya custodian to keep the scoreline respectable going into the halftime break. But the home team got the insurance goal three minutes before the break from Ismail. Abdelrahman provided the assist for Ismail to score for his fifth goal of the season.

Youssef Msakni with 25 goals to his credit was introduced at the start of the second half to replace Ismail. It looked certain that the Tunisian will score to tie or go ahead of teammate Yousef El Arabi in top scorer's chart, but it turned sour for the Duhail skipper.

South Korean Nam Tae Hee scored his team's fourth goal with a curling finish just outside the box in the 56th minute. George Kwesi wrongly nodded the ball to his path as the diminutive midfielder pounced on it with a sublime finish.

In a goal-bound move, Msakni was challenged by George and the Duhail captain suffered a knock to his knee. He struggled thereafter and was was advised to rest by coach Belmadi but he kept on. ~With three chances coming his way and failing to find his range, the Tunisian was forced out with pains in the 75th minute. That ultimately ensured Youssef El Arabi retains the top scorer award with 26 goals.

Sailiya's Valentin Lazar reduced the deficit with a close range finish with a wonderful delivery by Temur in the 80th minute.
With five minutes still to play, Nam Tee made scored Duhail's fifth and his 12th of the season but Romanian striker Lazar had the final say as his stoppage time strike cut the deficit to end the tie 5-2.

By Ikoli Victor


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