Al Rayyan back on winning path with win over Al Duhail in Week 19 of Expo Stars League

Al Rayyan back on winning path with win over Al Duhail in Week 19 of Expo Stars League

Alkass Digital

Roger Guedes netted both goals as Al Rayyan defeated Al Duhail 2-0 in Week 19 of the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Sunday.

Guedes got his brace in the 80th and 86th minutes to extend Al Rayyan’s points in the standings to 35 as they maintained their fourth position, while Al Duhail remained on 22 points and remained sixth with four matches left to play before the league rounds off.

Al Duhail, who had been posting a string of inconsistent performances in several of their last fixtures, were on the front foot right from the blast of the opening whistle with their arrowhead in attack, Michael Olunga, posing significant threats to Al Rayyan’s defensive line-up on several occasions.

After many attempts at goal, Olunga appeared to have given The Red Knights the lead in the 23rd minute after nodding home from Ismail Mohammed’s assist, off a corner kick, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR review indicated that the Kenyan international was offside prior to the goal.

Undaunted by the cancellation of the goal, Al Duhail continued to pile pressure on Al Rayyan, whose defence stood rock-solid in curtailing the attack.

Olunga almost netted the opening goal in the 36th minute after connecting perfectly to a cross from Philippe Coutinho, but his powerful header was painfully denied by the crossbar.

Al Rayyan got a couple of chances to make the difference as well, but were unable to find the net, like their opponents, as the first half ended with no goals on either side.

A much-rejuvenated Al Rayyan came out of the dugout for the second half of thrilling encounter and they almost got the opener in the 46th minute, with Achraf Bencharki’s thunderous right-footed shot narrowly hitting the upright on its way out.

The goal attempt turned into a confident boost for Al Rayyan as they became more daring upfront, making several incursions into Al Duhail’s half of the field.

With Al Rayyan’s unending pressure, the deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute, with Guedes netting the opener from a tight corner, from a Bencharki assist, after an impressive overlapping run.

Six minutes later, Gabriel Pereira assisted Guedes in getting his brace of the night to further compound the reigning champions’ woes.

The second goal seemed to take the wind of Al Duhail’s sails as Christophe Galtier’s men appeared to be bidding for the final whistle from thereon, while Al Rayyan continued to be adventurous in their play.

Such was the situation until the final whistle, with The Lions having the ‘last roar’ over their opponents as they bagged the crucial maximum points of the encounter.