QATAR Sports Club won its first QSL match of the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Al Arabi at the Grand Hamad Stadium on Saturday.
Two first half goals from Sayed Hadi Aghli and Bakari Kone ensured Sebastiao Lazaroni’s team moved to midtable in the 12-team QSL table.
Meanwhile, it was a losing debut for Al Arabi’s new helmsman Hassan Shehata.
The Egyptian, which recently took over from Frenchman Pierre Lechantre needed all maximum points to impress his new employers, however it was a bad day for the Shehata.
Arabi went for 3-4-3 formation with Australian Mathhew Spiranovic holding forth in the back with support from Papa Keita and Mohammed Shahdad. In the centre of the field were Captain Mohammed Salem, Magdi Siddiq, Abdulla Maariya and Abdelaziz Hatem.
Brazilian Jader Volnei Spindler led the attack line with Moroccan duo Youssef Hadji and Houssine Kharja.
For Qatar Sports Club, after scoring five goals in its opening three matches without victory, the round four match was a must-win for the yellow and black stripe team.
It was a cautious opening ten minutes as both sides sized each other and were looking for an early goal. Qatar Sports’ Mousa Allaq’s effort in the 17th minute was the first attempt at goal but goalkeeper Rajab Hamza parried it for the first corner that yielded no result.
Arabi’s response was immediate with a fierce long drive from Moroccan Yousef Hadji that almost caught Mohamed Mubarak napping in goal-post.
At this stage of the game, it was from one end to another and Spiranovic almost put Arabi in front after nodding a ball off a cross from Kharja that was wayward in the 22nd minute.
Papa Keita’s poor marking cost Arabi a penalty, he was beaten to the ball by Mohammed Razak in the air and he clumsily obstructed a goal bound move by the Qatari international from inside the eighteen-yard box. The referee blew for a penalty to the disgust of coach Hassan Shehata.
Whether he was frowning at the referee’s call or Keita’s poor clearance was unknown.
Iranian Sayed Hadi Aghily converted the resultant kick calmly in the 35th minute to give Arabi the lead.
Bakari Kone scored the second for Qatar Sports in the 43rd minute with a deflected shot off Papa Keita to beat Rajab. Winger Allaq did all the hardwork finding space on the right flank, picking Kone with a neat pass, which the Ivorian smashed with the side of his foot for his first league goal for his new club.
The only booking in the first half was for Khaled Saleh of Qatar Sports in the 23rd minute. There was four minutes off added time as Arabi tried to reduce the deficit but Qatar Sports held its own with a two goal cushion to end the first half proceedings.
Within seven minutes into the second half, Allaq had a sniff of goal with a fierce shot that bounced in front of the diving Rajab. Minutes later, Rajab stood his ground with a stunning save to stop a canon shot from Allaq, that would have finished the game had it turned into a goal.
Jader was Arabi’s best performer in the match with series of goal attempts that goalkeeper Mubarak stopped. The Brazilian came close with a low shot in the 57th minute but Mubarak was on hand to make a save. Bakari Kone was booked after a poor tackle on Arabi’s Maarfiya on the hour mark. With time running out, Arabi coach Shehata introduced Mohammed Qusai in place of tired Hadji. The Moroccan didn’t play up to his own standard.
New entrant Qusai had a glorious chance to score for Arabi in the 77th minutes, after going past a defender and with the goalkeeper to his mercy, he shot wide.
Mohammed Khalifa who replaced Ahmed Shahdad had an empty net to score in stoppage but missed.