Al-Sadd maintained their pole position in the Expo Stars League with an emphatic 5-0 win against Al-Markhiya at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Thursday.
The star of the show was Akram Afif, securing a super hat-trick in the 16th, 20th, 42nd, and 45+3rd minutes. Additionally, Baghdad Bounedjah added to the tally in the 12th minute. This commanding victory solidifies Al-Sadd’s place at the top of the league with an impressive 19 points.
The game kicked off with high energy from Al-Sadd, and an early goal by Akram Afif in the third minute seemed to set the tone. However, the referee, after VAR consultation, disallowed the goal for offside.
The 12th minute saw Al-Sadd take the lead when Paulo Otavio delivered a precise cross from the left, which Baghdad Bounedjah expertly headed into the net.
Al-Sadd continued to exert pressure, and Akram showcased his skill once again by netting the second goal in the 16th minute. Taking advantage of a pass from Gonzalo Plata, Akram faced the goalkeeper alone and finished coolly.
The dominance of Al-Sadd persisted, and Akram completed his super hat-trick with goals in the 42nd and 45+3rd minutes. The first half concluded with Al-Sadd comfortably leading 5-0.
In the second half, Al-Sadd made strategic substitutions, introducing Ilyes Housni, Ahmed Suhail, and Ahmed Sayyar. Despite the changes, Al-Sadd maintained control, employing a diverse playing style that alternated between depth and the flanks.
Al-Sadd’s dominance in the game continued, and they consistently posed a threat. In the 87th minute, Ilyes Housni narrowly missed a chance for the sixth goal, as his shot went just wide of the right post of Al-Markhiya’s goal.