Baghdad Bounedjah’s hattrick powered Al-Sadd to a 3-1 win over Al-Duhail in their QNB Stars League Round 14 clash, which was played at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday.
Almoez Ali gave Al-Duhail the lead from the penalty spot in the 6th minute, before Bounedjah settled the game for the Wolves with a clinical hattrick, scoring in the 14th, 50th and 87th minutes.
The result means that Al-Sadd extend their lead at the top and increase their points tally to 38.
The game between the top two sides in the league began with entertaining action from the beginning, as Al-Sadd threatened the Duhail goal early on. Mohammed Waad tried a shot but couldn’t find the target.
Then, against the run of play, Al-Duhail took the lead. The referee awarded them a penalty after Abdelkarim Hassan was adjudged to have brought down Almoez in the box. The spot-kick was duly converted by Almoez, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead inside six minutes.
Al-Sadd’s reply did not take too long to arrive, and in the 14th minute, Bounedjah equalised. The Algerian international got into the box, and dribbled past Ismaeel Mohammad before scoring with a great low finish.
The Wolves went on to put more pressure on Duhail as they searched for a second goal to make their dominance count. In the 34th minute, Santi Cazorla sent a powerful shot at goal from outside the box but the ball bounced back off the woodwork. Moments later, Cazorla threaded a through pass into the box aimed at Mohammed Waad, but the youngster’s shot was kept out by Salah Zakaria for a corner.
The referee then signalled for halftime, and the teams went into the tunnel with the score at 1-1 but things would change after the restart.
Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez sent on Akram Afif as his first substitute, in place of Hashim Ali and then in the 50th minute, Al-Sadd scored their second goal to take the lead in the game. Santi Cazorla floated in a corner kick and the Duhail backline failed to clear the ball properly, leaving Bounedjah with an opportunity to finish from close range and he made no mistake.
After that goal, both teams fought it out, with Al-Sadd aiming to secure the result while Al-Duhail looked for a way back into the game. Xavi then made his second change of the game, replacing Mohammed Waad with Salem Al-Hajri to freshen up the midfield.
Al-Hajri went on to have an impactful time on the pitch, first setting up Bounedjah with a through ball in the 79th minute, only to see the Duhail defence clear the danger. Then, in the 87th minute, he started a quick move, passing the ball to fellow substitute Afif, who delivered a perfect pass for Bounedjah to run onto, and the Algerian promptly finished past Salah Zakaria to score the third goal.
Al-Sadd x Al-Duhail (2020-21 QNB Stars League Round 14)
Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Al-Sadd: Meshaal Barsham, Pedro Miguel, Jung Woo-young, Abdelkarim Hassan, Mohammed Waad, Guilherme Torres, Santi Cazorla, Nam Tae-hee, Hassan Al-Haydos, Hashim Ali, Baghdad Bounedjah
Al-Duhail: Salah Zakaria, Ismaeel Mohammad, Medhi Benatia, Ahmed Yasser, Sultan Al-Braik, Luiz Mairton, Ali Karimi, Dudu, Edmilson, Almoez Ali, Michael Olunga
Al-Sadd won 3-1
Almoez Ali 6′ (P)
Baghdad Bounedjah 14′, 50′, 87′
Abdelkarim Hassan 4′
Almoez Ali 48′
Baghdad Bounedjah 63′
Jung Woo-young 75′
Abdulhadi Al-Ruwaili (main referee)
Zahi Al-Shammari (assistant 1)
Majed Al-Shammari (assistant 2)
Mohammed Al-Obaidly (fourth official)