Al Rayyan hammer Qatar SC to move to the top
Tabata, Brahimi sparkle in thumping 5-0 win; Al Sailiya move past Al Wakrah.
Al Rayyan revived memories of their golden days with a 5-0 drubbing of Qatar Sports Club to move to the top of the table, at least temporarily, in the Qatar Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday.
Rayyan’s Yacine Brahimi and Rodrigo Tabata played havoc with a weak Qatar defence, making full use of the space provided to them. Tabata scored twice and was the provider for two other goals while Brahimi only had one goal to show at the end of a fine game personally.
With their fourth win, Rayyan took their points tally to 15 from seven matches. They head the table now, but it might change once Duhail Sports Club (14 points) play their seventh-round match on against Umm Salal on Sunday.
Qatar, who are on the penultimate rung with three points, had very little to offer as they slipped to their sixth defeat. Their attack lacked sting while their defence gave enough room for the rivals to operate freely. By the end of the first half, Qatar were down by four goals and there was no way back from that pit.
Rayyan, aware of Qatar’s fallibilities, were on the attack early and almost took a lead in the fourth minute when Franck Kom unleashed a powerful shot. The ball struck the crosspiece and bounced back into play, but the assistant referee signalled goal, before VAR corrected the error.
There was no such confusion four minutes later when Mohammed Alaaelddin slammed in a corner from Tabata to hoist Rayyan’s lead. Brahimi, who had engineered the move that led to the corner, then turned provider in the 16th minute with a measured cross from the left for Tabata to direct it home.
Qatar were briefly in the game when Abdenasser Elkhayati let go a long-ranger that Rayyan goalkeeper Fahad Baker kept out in the 21st minute. Soon, they had a goal disallowed for a handball after Kayke Rodrigues had beaten Baker following a corner.
Rayyan then restored order, netting their third goal in the 28th minute. Kom did the damage this time, smartly darting into the Qatar penalty area to steer home a Tabata corner. Brahimi, the fulcrum of Rayyan attacks, then got into the scoring act and completely demoralised Qatar in the 36th minute. Moving up, following a pass from Ahmad Al Sayyid, the Algerian side-footed the ball to the far post to make it 4-0.
The second half was a mere formality. Rayyan coach Diego Aguirre made some substitutions to test his bench while Tabata showed his free-kick expertise, beautifully sinking the fifth Rayyan goal in the 70th minute after Brahimi had been fouled just outside the penalty area.
At Al Ahli Stadium, in a mid-table encounter, Al Sailiya scored an important win, defeating Al Wakrah 3-1. Karim Ansariford scored two goals, in the 27th and 55th minutes while Meshaal Al Shammeri struck the third in the 68th minute. Omar Ali’s penalty fetched Wakrah their lone goal in the 42nd minute.
After seven games, Sailiya have 10 points while Wakrah are on seven.
Al Ahli missed several chances as they were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-placed Al Shahania in the third game of the day.
At their home venue, Al Ahli led 2-1 till the 85th minute when Ramin Rezaeian converted a penalty to score the equaliser for Al Shahania.
Rezaeian had given Shahania the lead in the fourth minute, but Al Ahli equalised through Hernan Perez three minutes later. And just before half-time, Nabil El Zhar scored from the spot to make it 2-1.
Al Ahli seemed set for three points, but could not hang on as Shahania earned only their second point. Al Ahli are seventh with 10 points.