Al Sadd beat Al Markhiya in Week 19 of Expo Stars League

Al Sadd beat Al Markhiya in Week 19 of Expo Stars League

Alkass Digital

A last-gasp goal by substitute Yusuf Abdurisag saw title contenders Al Sadd score a come-from-behind 2-1 win over a challenging Al Markhiya in Week 19 of the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League at Al Arabi club’s Grand Hamad Stadium on Sunday.

Abdurisag scored after a goal-mouth melee following a corner kick in the 90+7 minute to rescue the leaders of league championship. Earlier, Akram Afif had converted a penalty kick in the 67th minute to level the scores for The Wolves after Al Markhiya had gone up the lead with rivals’ own goal (Paulo Otavio) in the 26th minute.

The dramatic win took Al Sadd’s tally to 43 points from 18 matches at the top, while Al Markhiya remained at the bottom with eight points.

The huge contrast in the two teams’ placings in the rankings was no reflection in the exciting contest as Al Markhiya battled hard and even pushed back the formidable rivals during many stages of the match.

While Al Sadd looked for a bright start, they were held back by a staunch defence.

Al Markhiya hit back with a counter as Ali Al Mohannadi, who made the starting XI replacing an injured Yusupha Nije, latched on to the ball just outside the box to strike and Al Sadd’s Otavio trying to defend deflected the ball into his own goal.

Having gained the lead, Al Markhiya came charging again in the 35th minute, but failed to find a finish and after a scramble in front of the goal, Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham made a big save kicking the ball away.

In the 42nd minute, Al Sadd star Akram Afif got a lob from Otavio to make a fine header, but it hit the left goal post to bounce off.

Al Sadd eventually found the equalizer in the second session when Gonzalo Plata dashed in from the right to weave his way through past defenders, but was brought down inside the box by Naby Sarr and the referee called for a penalty. Afif stepped up to take the spot kick and converted it coolly and drew parity.

The contest now hotted up and saw both sides make more attempts, but failing to find a finish.

Al Sadd’s big moment finally arrived in the dying moments when following a corner kick an unmarked Afif on the left, sent the ball toward the goal, but it was first intercepted by a defender before the ball moved to Baghdad Bounedjah who made a backflip which ricocheted off Al Markhiya goalkeeper Oumar Barry and an alert Abdurisag chested the ball back in, much to the joy of his teammates and the team’s fans.