14 Jan 2018 - 11:09
Al Rayyan thrash Al Khor as Al Duhail remain on top
By Rizwan Rehmat / The Peninsula
DOHA: Feared striker Rodrigo Tabata yesterday found his goal-scoring form just when his side needed it as the 37-year-old lifted title-chasing Al Rayyan past Al Khor 3-0 at Al Sadd Stadium.
At Qatar SC Stadium, Al Duhail continued goal fest as they crushed Qatar SC 6-0 to stay on top with 32 points.
In other match yesterday, Al Sadd dropped valuable points after a goalless stalemate against spirited Al Markhiya. Al Sadd now have 28 points as do Al Rayyan.
For Al Rayyan, Moroccan midfielder Mohsine Moutaouali opened the scoring in the first half (45) but it was experienced Tabata’s (53 penalty and 56) two slick goals that powered the ‘Lions’ to their convincing win.
Tabata, who has recovered fully from a recent injury, now has an overall tally to 9 goals in the QNB Stars League season.
Al Rayyan coach Michael Laudrup said after the match: “This result is what we wanted although we did not start well. After the first 25 minutes, we controlled the game. The first goal came at the right time. Then we added two more goals in the second half.”
Laudrup added at the post-match press conference: “After the lead we had, it was easy to control the match. The most important thing is we have three more points from this match and we did not concede a goal. I am also happy to see the return of Ali Sanad and Sultan Al Kuwari.”
In the 7th minute of the clash at Al Sadd Stadium, Al Rayyan goalkeeper Omar Barry blocked Al Khor striker Yusuf Ali’s dangerous shot from inside the box in the game’s first real threatening move.
In the 11th minute, veteran striker Sebastian Soria produced a long-range bullet from outside the Al Khor box but his shot slipped past the goalpost with keeper Baba Kane well beaten by the pace of the ball. Just a few seconds later, Al Khor’s Ali misfired from close range on a cross from Madson with only Al Rayyan keeper Barry to beat.
A couple minutes later, Soria - the former Qatar team striker - jumped high for a snap-header but his high-ball deflection sailed above the Al Khor crossbar without causing any damage.
In the 24th minute, Soria once again stationed himself inside the Al Khor box for a short cross but his right-footed shot was blocked by keeper Kane.
In the 37th minute, Al Rayyan’s Korean import Myongin Koh charged through the Al Khor defense but his low shot narrowly missed the goalpost after keeper Kane was in no position to stop the ball.
Al Rayyan grabbed a 1-0 lead in the dying seconds of the first half when Moutaouali made the most of a fumble by Al Khor’s Luciano Castan who lost the ball a few meters away from his own goalline. Moutaouali picked up the ball and flicked it into the net with ease.
Luciano’s bad day continued when he handled the ball on a lob by Soria inside the Al Khor box. Tabata easily converted the resultant penalty in the 53rd minute.
It was Tabata’s 8th goal of the season. Three minutes later, Tabata added another one following a cross from Juma Al Alawi.
In the 88th minute, Al Khor’s Helal Mohammed Al Saeed launched a fierce left-footed drive from outside the Al Rayyan box but his shot sailed above the head of keeper Barry.
Meanwhile, Al Sadd were held by bottom-placed Al Markhiya yesterday despite the return of their key players following their Gulf Cup assignment.
The match got off to a fast-paced start with Al Markhiya also stitching quick moves.
In the 6th minute, Al Markhiya’s Rebin Ghareeb showed amazing speed to block the way of the cross by Algerian import Jugurtha Hamroun towards team-mate Bualem Khoukhi who was stationed inside the box.
It would have been an easy defection from close range but Ghareeb outpaced Khoukhi to stop the dangerous move.
In the 15th minute of the round 12 clash at Al Sadd Stadium, Hamroun once again showed great pace but his close-range left-footed flick hit the outside the net with the entire Al Markhiya backline well-beaten.
Three minutes later, Hamroun ran all the way down the left flank before whipping in a cross for Xavi who misfired with his header that sailed above the head of Al Makrkhiya keeper Rodrigues Santos.
In the 70th minute, Al Markhiya’s Ghanaian import Kwame Karikari unleashed a powerful shot past two defenders but his fast-paced high ball sailed above the Al Sadd crossbar.