Expo Stars League: Al-Sadd settle for goalless draw with Al-Wakrah

Al-Sadd played out a goalless draw against Al-Wakrah in their third-round fixture of the 2023-2024 Expo Stars League, held at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.

This outcome saw Al-Sadd’s points total rise to seven, from two wins and one draw.

The match started with high intensity and enthusiasm from both teams. However, the initial ten minutes of the game didn’t witness any significant threats to either goal.

The contest continued with a see-saw battle between the two sides. Al-Sadd’s players made determined efforts to penetrate the opposing defense, primarily focusing on the wings, utilizing the duo of Akram Afif and Gonzalo Plata. Nevertheless, Al-Wakrah’s backline remained resilient.

In the 32nd minute, Al-Wakrah’s Angolan striker Gelson Dala found the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed for offside after a VAR review.

During first-half stoppage time, Al-Sadd was compelled to make a substitution due to an injury to Guilherme Torres. He was replaced by Mohammed Waad.

At the beginning of the second half, Al-Sadd introduced their second substitution, bringing on Baghdad Bounedjah for Yousuf Abdurisag to enhance their offensive capabilities.

The Wolves persisted in exerting pressure, aiming to break the deadlock. In the 64th minute, Mohammed Waad embarked on a run down the left side and delivered a cross, but Al-Wakrah’s defense managed to clear it just before Bounedjah could capitalize.

In the 79th minute, Al-Sadd came tantalizingly close to scoring when Bounedjah attempted to bundle the ball over the line from close range, only for Al-Wakrah’s Hamdy Fathy to make a crucial clearance off the line.

Approaching the final minute of added time, Al-Wakrah’s Dala had a one-on-one chance with only Meshaal Barsham, Al-Sadd’s goalkeeper, to beat. However, Barsham made a superb intervention to deny him, preserving the score at 0-0, which is how the match concluded moments later.