LEKHWIYA continued their resurgence in the Qatar Stars League with a 1-0 win against Al Kharaitiyat on Saturday that took them to third place in the table.
Khalid Muftah’s close range finish put the defending champion ahead after eleven minutes at the Al Khor Stadium. It was Lekhwiya’s fourth consecutive to take it to points to 16, same as Rayyan in second place with better goals aggregate.
It was Al Kharaitiyat’s fifth loss and the second only team after Al Arabi that has not won any match in the eighth round of the season.
The bottom club’s misfortune compounded as early as the tenth minute when the centre referee flashed a direct red card to Mahdi al Khammassi for fouling Muftah who was in a goal bound move at the edge of the box. Korean Tae Nam Hee neatly dispatched the resultant kick from about 30 yards that hit the woodwork, the ball rebound to Muftah and the striker was quickest to react slotting it past Khalifa Ndiaye in the eleventh minute.
Kharaitiyat played the rest of the match with 10-man and should be credited for holding the attacking players of Lekhwiya led by Sebastian Soria, Ali Afif and Issiar Dia.
The Bernard Simondi side had their chances but poor finishing from Yahia Kebe and Congolese Alain Dioko denied it a share of the points.
Lekhwiya were guilty of near misses with Dia coming close on the half hour mark but for the sharp reflexes of goalkeeper Khalifa that blocked an open chance from the Frenchman.
In the 33rd minute, Khariatiyat’s skipper Turki Aman was substituted for Chadian Mohammed Abdulrahman after he sustained an injury. Two minutes later, a rare chance for Dioko was too weak to trouble Baba Malick in goal for Lekhwiya.
Brazilian Domingos and Sebastian Soria had several contests in the game and the Kharaitiyat defender won the battles on few occasions.
Yahia Kebe had a glorious chance to at least test Baba Malick but his effort was poor, that was the second time in the game the Burkinabe striker has shot waywardly. That summed up the proceedings in the first half.
New entrant for Lekhwiya Ismael Mohammed was the worst culprit with his profligacy in front of goal. The Lekhwiya striker that replaced Mohammed Musa in the 55th minute came close with two near misses.
Yahia Kebe’s shot at goal was the closest they came but Baba Malick made a point blank save in the 71st minute.
Ismael should have wrapped up the game for Lekwhiya when a through pass from Soria released him with just the goalkeeper to beat but his shot was blocked for a corner kick in the 80th minute. The Eric Gerets team held its own until the final whistle.
Elsewhere on Saturday, a first half goal by Aruna Dindane was not enough for Umm Salal to win its second game, as they lost 3-1 to Qatar Sports Club. Mousa Majid scored twice in the closing minutes with Youssef Safri’s equaliser in the 56th minute.
Sailiya sits a place above the bottom of the table with four points, with twenty goals conceded so far, it has the worst defence in the league. Qatar Sports is sixth on the table with eleven points.
On Friday, ten-man Al Sadd recorded its eighth win with a hard fought win against Al Khor. Rayyan rediscovered its form with a comprehensive 5-1 thrashing of Gharafa.