The 2021-2022 season QNB Stars Leagues opening round, played on 11th and 12th September, was full of excitement, two of the six matches ended in draws and a total of 14 goals were scored.
The opening match brought together Al Gharafa with Al Shamal at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium in Al Gharafa Club, during which Al Gharafa succeeded in avoiding the surprises with two clean goals scored by Ahmed Al Janhi and Moayad Hassan.
Big name Al Gharafa dominated the proceedings, but Al Shamal, back in the top flight after a long gap of six seasons, put up a brave front, especially in the second half.
Al Shamal skipper Baha Faisal even scored, but the effort was ruled offside.
In the second match, Umm Salal and Al Rayyan were locked in a 2-2 draw.
Yaseen Al Bakhit and Isael da Silva had put Umm Salal ahead, but a brilliant double late in the game by Ivorian striker Yohan Boli saved Al Rayyan the blushes.
Al Rayyan had the numerical disadvantage after Cameroonian defender Franck Kom was shown the red card four minutes into the second half for second booking when he brought down Moses Orkuma with a tackle.
Qatar SC and Al Ahli tried hard for a breakthrough, but had to settle for a goalless draw.
Both teams adopted a cautious approach. Qatar SC initiated the attacks, with Youcef Belaili and Sebastian Soria leading their charge. Belaili had a goal disallowed for offside towards the end of first half.
Al Ahli were more on the offensive in the second half, but a goal did not come from either side.
In the fourth match, Al Khor gave Al Duhail an early scare by scoring through Brazilian defender Rafael Vaz in the fourth minute, but that was all The Knights could do as The Red Knights cruised to a 4-1 win to give new Portuguese coach Luis Castro, who replaced Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi, a winning start. Michael Olunga (two goals), Ismail Mohammed and Khaled Mohammed were the scorers for Al Duhail.
Gabonese striker Aaron Boupendza scored the all-important goal as Al Arabi beat Al Wakrah 1-0. The Dream Team thus started the season on a positive note under new coach Younes Ali, who took over from Heimir Hallgrimsson.
Al Sadd began their title defence in style by defeating Al Sailiya 2-0, with Boualem Khoukhi and Rodrigo Tabata scoring the goals. In the process, The Wolves gave a strong warning to their rivals.
The 2021-2022 season QNB Stars Leagues Week 2 matches are scheduled for 16th and 17th September, Al Shamal vs Sailiya, Al Arab vs Al Duhail, and Qatar SC vs Al Sadd on Saturday September 16, while Al Wakrah vs Al Rayyan, Al Ahli vs Al Gharafa, and Umm Salal vs Al Khor on Sunday September 16.