Al-Sadd return to winning ways with 3-1 triumph over Qatar

Al-Sadd emerged victorious with a 3-1 scoreline against Qatar SC in their fourth-round clash of the 2023/2024 Expo Stars League season, which was held on Saturday at the Khalifa International Stadium.

With this win, Al-Sadd have increased their tally to 10 points in the league standings, after securing three wins and a draw. Al-Sadd’s goals came from Gonzalo Plata in the 16th minute, Akram Afif in the 64th minute from a penalty kick, and Paulo Otavio in the 80th minute. On the opposing side, Qatar’s solitary goal was netted by Ben Malango in the 20th minute.

The match kicked off with tremendous energy and determination from Al-Sadd. The team established control over the midfield and persistently threatened Qatar’s goal with numerous attempts. One notable moment came in the 10th minute when Matheus Uribe unleashed a powerful shot that missed the target.

Al-Sadd’s domination yielded its first goal in the 16th minute, courtesy of Plata. A well-placed pass from Uribe found Plata behind Qatar’s defense, and Plata calmly slotted the ball to the left of the goalkeeper, giving Al-Sadd an early lead.

However, Qatar managed to level the score in the 20th minute, thanks to a strike by Congolese striker Ben Malango. The goal resulted from Khokhi Boualem’s error in attempting to intercept the ball, allowing Malango to send it into the top corner of Al-Sadd’s net, thus equalising for Qatar.

Al-Sadd continued to push forward, and Yousuf Abdurisag appeared to have added a second goal for the team in the 44th minute. Unfortunately, the match referee disallowed the goal after a VAR review, citing a handball by Uribe. Consequently, the first half concluded with the score at 1-1.

In the 50th minute, Al-Sadd made their first substitution due to Gonzalo Plata’s injury, with Ali Asad replacing him. In the 54th minute, Mohammed Waad delivered a precise cross from the left flank, which Hassan Al-Haydos met with a powerful shot that deflected off Qatar’s defense, resulting in a corner kick.

Al-Sadd maintained their offensive momentum, and Akram Afif successfully converted a penalty kick to give his side the lead in the 64th minute, following a handball by Qatar defender Eisa Ahmed. This was Akram’s 100th goal in an Al-Sadd jersey.

The team’s dominance continued, and Brazilian Paulo Otavio sealed the victory with a third goal in the 80th minute. Otavio capitalized on a well-timed pass from Akram, outmaneuvering Qatar’s goalkeeper as he slotted the ball into the net.

The match thus concluded with Al-Sadd securing a 3-1 win, reaffirming their strong position in the league.