Al Markhiya's Ayman Hussein vies for the ball with Al Wakrah players during yesterday's match. Pic: Mohamed Farag
Doha: Al Wakrah yesterday failed to tame a tough Al Markhiya resistance and had to settle for a goalless draw in their QNB Stars League (QSL) game at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
Also yesterday, Qatar SC defeated Al Shamal 1-0 at Al Janoub Stadium to register their second victory of the season.
Entering the game as favourites, Al Wakrah had a good control in the match but lacked their goal-scoring prowess that gave them three impressive victories.
After Al Markhiya saw a penalty in their favour turned down by VAR just before the half-time, Al Wakrah star Jacinto Dala created an opportunity in the 74th minute but substitute Omar Ali failed to connect his cross from a close range.
Al Wakrah stayed second with 11 points, one point behind leaders Al Arabi while Al Markhiya jumped to eighth with five points.
“We were expecting a tough fight from Al Markhiya but we were targeting a win to maintain the momentum,” said Al Wakrah coach Marquez Lopez after the match.
“We will work harder after this draw and come back with more determination,” he added.
Meanwhile, Abdulrahman Al Jassem scored for Qatar SC in the 42nd minute after an assist by Anthony Okpotu, who picked a long ball to set up the winner. Qatar SC moved to sixth on the table with seven points after the win.
Al Sadd eye win over Al Sailiya
Today, defending champions Al Sadd will meet Al Sailiya hoping to bounce back after a defeat to Al Gharafa in their last match.
Al Sadd, who saw their long unbeaten streak at the QSL shattered by Al Markhiya in their opening match of the season, have just earned four points from as many games.
Already missing the Qatari players who are busy with national team’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the Wolves will be without star Rodrigo Tabata after his two-match suspension following a red card against Al Gharafa.
“We know (Rodrigo) Tabata’s level and how important he is not only to Al Sadd, but to any other team. But we cannot hide behind his absence,” Al Sadd coach Juan Manuel Lillo said ahead of the tie at Education City Stadium.
“We are developing from one game to another and the players are doing a great job during training and at the matches. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and we will play to win every match,” he added.
With only three points to their credit, Al Sailiya are also looking for a turnaround after a defeat against Umm Salal last week.
“We know the Al Sadd team well and despite the absence of 15 players, they can do very well with outstanding youngsters. Al Sadd will try to get out of the current situation with a positive result,” said Al Sailiya coach Sami Trabelsi.
“Self-confidence is very important and also scoring goals. Certainly, football is a game of goals. We must seize opportunities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Al Rayyan will be looking to end their four-match losing streak against Umm Salal at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
The Nicolas Cordova-coached side is the only team which is yet to score a point in the league while Umm Salal will go into the match at the back of a victory against Al Sailiya.