Al-Sadd clinched the Doha Derby with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Al-Arabi, in the QNB Stars League Round 17 clash which was played at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Monday evening.
Sebastian Soria scored in the tenth minute to give Al-Arabi an early lead, and it took until the 66th minute for Al-Sadd’s equaliser to arrive through Rodrigo Tabata. Youssef Msakni then restored Al-Arabi’s advantage in the 77th minute, before Al-Sadd staged a late comeback through goals from Baghdad Bounedjah and Santi Cazorla in the 90th and 92nd minutes respectively.
This result sees Al-Sadd increase their points tally to 47 and take another step towards securing the league title.
The game began with Al-Sadd on the front foot, as they pressed forward from the first whistle in search of an early breakthrough. However, against the run of play, it was Al-Arabi who took the lead when Sebastian Soria headed in past Meshaal Barsham in the 10th minute, following Mehrdad Mohammadi’s cross from the right.
After that shock opener, Al-Sadd regrouped and went on the offensive to return to level terms but the equaliser proved elusive. In the 21st minute, Nam Tae-hee dribbled into the box from the left and took a shot, only to see it sail just over the crossbar. Another big opportunity came in the 42nd minute, when Nam sent in a cross, but Bounedjah was unable to convert it and the ball was deflected away off Ayoub Azzi.
The whistle for halftime came and Al-Arabi had the upper hand. Al-Sadd coach Xavi made two changes at the start of the second half, bringing on Abdelkarim Hassan and Khoukhi Boualem in place of Ahmed Suhail and Tarek Salman.
Thereafter, Al-Sadd stepped up the pressure and in the 54th minute, they almost scored, only for the left post to deny Cazorla the equaliser. Bounedjah then missed a golden opportunity in the 59th minute, with his shot going just wide of the target.
In the 63rd minute, the equaliser finally arrived and it was Tabata who got it, bundling the ball in from close range after Nam’s low pass into the six-yard box.
Parity only lasted until the 77th minute, as Youssef Msakni scored with a powerful shot from outside the box to make it 2-1 in favour of Al-Arabi.
The scoreline was then overturned in stoppage time, when Al-Sadd scored twice to complete a dramatic comeback. Bounedjah first equalised with a header in the 90th minute, before Cazorla sparked wild celebrations with an unstoppable strike past Mahmoud Abunada two minutes later.
Al-Sadd x Al-Arabi (2020-21 QNB Stars League Round 17)
Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Al-Sadd: Meshaal Barsham, Tarek Salman (Abdelkarim Hassan), Ahmed Suhail (Khoukhi Boualem), Musaab Khidir, Guilherme Torres, Santi Cazorla, Salem Al-Hajri (Jung Woo-young) Nam Tae-hee, Rodrigo Tabata, Hassan Al-Haydos (Yousuf Abdurisag), Baghdad Bounedjah
Al-Arabi: Mahmoud Abunada, Ayoub Azzi, Marc Muniesa, Abdulla Marafi, Fahad Shanin, Aron Gunnarsson, Ahmed Fathi, Sebastian Soria, Youssef Msakni, Abdulrahman Anad, Mehrdad Mohammadi
Al-Sadd won 3-2
Sebastian Soria 10′
Rodrigo Tabata 63′
Youssef Msakni 77′
Baghdad Bounedjah 90′
Santi Cazorla 90+2′
Youssef Msakni 57′
Sebastian Soria 90′
Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (main referee)
Ramzan Al-Ramzani (assistant 1)
Faisal Al-Shammari (assistant 2)
Mohammed Al-Mazeed (fourth official)