With a commanding performance, Al-Sadd secured a 4-0 win over Al-Gharafa in the fifth round of the 2023-2024 Expo Stars League. This victory propelled Al-Sadd to the top of the league table with a tally of 13 points.
The goals for Al-Sadd were scored by Akram Afif (26′), Hassan Al-Haydos (30′) and substitute Ali Asad, who netted twice (54′, 60′).
Right from the start, Al-Sadd displayed a strong presence on the field. They applied pressure on Al-Gharafa’s defense, especially during the opening ten minutes. Akram Afif’s dangerous cross from the left flank nearly resulted in a goal, but Al-Gharafa’s goalkeeper, Youssef Hassan, made a crucial save.
The first goal came in the 26th minute when Al-Sadd was awarded a penalty due to a handball by an Al-Gharafa defender. Akram made no mistake and calmly converted the penalty into a goal.
The second goal followed in the 30th minute as Hassan Al-Haydos capitalized on a precise cross from Paulo Otavio, following some good work from Akram, showcasing excellent teamwork.
In the second half, both teams aimed to gain control. Substitute Ali Asad, who had replaced Gonzalo Plata, made a significant impact by scoring the third goal with a well-struck low shot from outside the penalty area in the 54th minute.
The pressure from Al-Sadd’s relentless attacks paid off again in the 60th minute when Ali scored his second goal with a header after a cross from Akram, taking the score to 4-0.
In the 80th minute, Al-Sadd made substitutions, including the introduction of Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah and new signing Ilyes Housni.
The fans who had come in large numbers, however, could not witness any more goals and the match went on to end with Al-Sadd winning by a 4-0 margin.