25 July 2020
Doha: Akram Afif scored twice to help Al-Sadd to a 2-1 win over Al-Khor in the QNB Stars League Round 18 game that was played on Saturday at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.
The result took Al-Sadd’s points tally to 35, keeping them third in the league table.
Afif opened the scoring in the 25th minute, before Tiago Bezerra equalised for Al-Khor just a minute later. Moments before halftime, Afif returned to score a second goal to put the Wolves back in front. Saad Al-Dosari then saved a penalty in second half stoppage time to ensure all three points for Al-Sadd.
The match kicked off to a strong start from Al-Sadd, who put pressure on their opponents from the beginning. However, there were no clear chances in the opening few minutes. It took until the 22nd minute for Al-Sadd to create a dangerous opportunity, with Nam Tae-hee sending in a cross from the right but Al-Khor keeper Baba Djibril was on hand to deal with it.
In the 25th minute, Al-Sadd took the lead through Afif after a fine piece of passing play. The ball was exchanged quickly through midfield before Abdulaziz Al-Ansari backheeled it through to Afif in the box, and the latter made no mistake with his finish from a tight angle.
However, the lead only lasted a minute. A long ball in from the Al-Khor half was not dealt with properly by the Al-Sadd defenders, and Tiago pounced on it, getting into the box and lashing in a shot past Al-Dosari to make it 1-1.
The two teams then cancelled each other out until the very end of the first half, when Afif struck again. Receiving the ball from Nam Tae-hee after a short corner, the reigning Asian Player of the Year took a few steps before sending in a powerful strike past Baba Djibril in the Al-Khor goal.
The score remained 2-1 thereafter, despite a number of efforts from the Al-Sadd forwards to increase the scoreline. Pedro did well to go ahead on the right win in the 55th minute and he sent in a cross but Baghdad Bounedjah was not able to deal with it in the right manner.
Abdelkarim Hassan then replaced Bahaa El Leithy in the 62nd minute, and added to the team’s attacking fervour. Another such change came in the 70th minute, when Abdulaziz Al-Ansari went off to be replaced by Hassan Al-Haydos, who returned to action after suffering an injury in February.
Bounedjah had another opportunity to score in the 85th minute, after a great passing move with Nam, but Baba Djibril kept the Algerian’s shot out for a corner. Stand-in coach David Prats sent on Mustafa Meshaal, Rami Suhail and Hussam Kamal in the last few minutes of the game, making use of the new rule that allows for five substitutions.
Deep into stoppage time, the referee awarded a penalty for Al-Khor after consulting VAR and adjudging Al-Dosari to have committed a foul in the box. Tiago stepped up to take the spot-kick but Al-Dosari dived to his right to keep the effort out and ensure Al-Sadd’s victory.
Al-Sadd x Al-Khor (QNB Stars League Round 18)
Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Al-Sadd: Saad Al-Dosari, Khoukhi Boualem, Tarek Salman, Pedro Miguel, Jung Woo-young, Abdulaziz Al-Ansari (Hassan Al-Haydos), Baghdad Bounedjah (Rami Suhail), Bahaa El-Leithy (Abdelkarim Hassan), Nam Tae-hee (Mustafa Tarek), Hashim Ali (Hussam Kamal), Akram Afif
Al-Khor: Baba Djibril, Musab Abdelmajid, Mohammed Al Jabri, Nayef Al Buraiki, Abdelziz Metwalli, Lucca Borges (Hilal Mohammad), Ibrahim Amada, Robert Melki, Abdulrahman Mohammed (Abdullah Al-Murisi), Tiago Bezerra, Ahmed Hammoudan
Al-Sadd won 2-1
Akram Afif 25′, 45′
Tiago Bezerra 27′
Musab Abdelmajid 12′
Pedro Miguel 71′
Baghdad Bounedjah 86′
Hamad Al-Subaiei (Main referee)
Taleb Salem (Assistant 1)
Abdulmajeed Al-Korbi (Assistant 2)
Mohammed Al-Mazeed (Fourth official)