Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Qatar Stars League Week 22

Qatar Stars League Week 22.
With just a few rounds remaining, the Qatar Stars League has entered a very crucial phase. One should watch out for Al Rayyan this season. The current League leaders pulled off a thrilling 3-2 away win over Al Arabi and now are on 45 points off 22 games. Reigning champions Al Gharafa won 2-0 against newcomers Al Kharaityat and although it put them on par with League leaders Al Rayyan, they are in second place on goal difference.

Al Sadd, who had sensationally won all four titles on offer – the Sheikh Jassim Cup, the Qatar League, the Heir Apparent’s Cup and the Emir’s Cup – two seasons a go, were dealt a huge blow at home by Qatar Sports Club. The men-in-yellow overpowered the ‘Wolves’ 3-1 in one of the most exciting contests of the season. Absence of a few key players proved to be the former champions’ undoing. This may ring a warning bell for club authorities, who were hopeful of another title win this season. Al Sadd, one of the most respected and loved clubs in Qatar, will take on Italian club AC Milan in a farewell match for their long-serving captain Jafal Rashid Al Kuwari.

The Qatar Sports Club’s star player and Qatar international Sebastian Soria Quintana, is in searing form this season. He scored twice against Al Sadd in the space of 17 minutes to make the writing on the wall clear for the home team.
Al Sailiya, who barely managed to hold on to their position in the First Division last season, are still struggling with their form. Their chances of retaining their place in the League are still slim. They have been showing inconsistent form throughout the season. Last week, they had enough reasons to smile as they overcame a stronger Al Wakra 4-1 in an away match.

Al Wakra, though strong on paper, is also plagued by inconsistent performances in the Qatar Stars League.
Another team which failed to rise to the occasion is the reigning Emir’s Cup champions Umm Salal. They stormed the Qatari football scene two seasons a go by becoming one of the only promoted sides to stay in the First Division. They had upset the football power equations in the country by finishing a surprise third in the League. Last season, they proved that the result was not accidental and lifted the prestigious Emir’s Cup title.

However, they have struggled this season and currently languish in sixth spot with 28 points. They lost out from a position of strength against Al Khor and were held to a 2-2 draw. With the team all set to compete in the AFC Champions League starting this week, this result will be a grim reminder of the tougher battles ahead.

At the end of 22 rounds of the Qatar Stars League, Al Rayyan leads with 45 points while Al Gharafa (45), Al Sadd (41), Qatar SC (36), Al Khor (30), Umm Salala (28), Al Wakra (27), Al Arabi (22), Al Kharaitiyat (14) and Al Sailiya (13) follow.

AC Milan in Qatar

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