QNB Stars League Week 17 - Al Sadd 3 Al Arabi 2

Al Sadd defeated Al Arabi 3-2 in an electrifying Qatar Derby in Week 17 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium on Monday.

Al Sadd twice fought back from deficit and pulled off an incredible last-gasp victory in the much-awaited Qatar Derby, made famous because of both teams’ passionate fan following, rich tradition and outstanding credentials.

In fact, Al Arabi were cruising to victory till the last minute of regular time before Al Sadd levelled the score. The Wolves then struck the winning goal in stoppage time, much to the dismay of The Dream Team’s players and supporters.

Rodrigo Tabata (63rd minute), Baghdad Bounedjah (90th minute) and Santiago Cazorla (90+2) scored for Al Sadd, who raised their points tally to 47 with an unbeaten record, the only team to do so in this season’s league championship.

Sebastian Soria (10th minute) and Yousef Msakni (77th minute) were on target for Al Arabi, who stood on 23 points.

Al Sadd thus extended their domination of Al Arabi this season, having beaten them 4-1 in the first-leg Qatar Derby of 2020-21 QNB Stars League.

Al Sadd had more of the ball in the first half with 61 per cent even though Al Arabi took the half-time break with a 1-0 lead.

The fast-paced game saw both teams attack from the word go and Al Arabi shocked Al Sadd with an early goal, with Soria heading in a measured cross from the right by Mehrdad Mohammadi.

In fact, Mehrdad gave the assist for their second goal as well with a through pass that was translated into goal by Msakni with a long-range shot.

Al Arabi were a determined lot, just like they performed against Al Sadd in the 2019-20 season Amir Cup final before going down fighting.

On the half-hour mark, Msakni was just thwarted by Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham.

At the other end, Bounedjah thrice and his team-mate Nam Tae-Hee once missed the target.

Action continued to be hot in the second half and Cazorla hit a grounder against the right upright in the 54th minute. Soon, Al Sadd captain Hassan Al Haydous’ shot was blocked by Al Arabi goalkeeper Mahmoud Abunada and Bounedjah hit one wide of the target.

Tabata drew level for Al Sadd by placing the ball home in a goalmouth melee, with Nam doing the spadework along the left goalline.

After Msakni took Al Arabi ahead for a second time, Al Sadd did not lose heart and their concerted efforts bore fruit when Bounedjah headed home Guilherme Torres’ long cross from the right.

Cazorla sealed the issue in favour of Al Sadd by firing in a missile as a thriller came to a close.

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