Thursday, March 19, 2009

Qatar Stars League - Week 24

Fortune favours the brave. Qatar Stars League defending champions Al Gharafa fought bravely and lady luck smiled indulgently on them. Despite being reduced to 10 men early in the game, they earned a nerve-wracking 3-2 win over Al Rayyan. With just three rounds remaining, the win helped them recapture first place in the Qatar Stars League.

Clemerson Soares has been in great form throughout this season. He scored twice, once from a penalty. Al Gharafa’s fortunes will hinge heavily on the goal-scoring abilities of this Brazilian import.

Al Khor, who has been playing well for the past few matches, extended their unbeaten run at home to eight games. They played a brilliant game to beat a battling Al Wakra 3-0 in front of vociferous home supporters. The revamped Qatar Stars League, which aims at building fan support for various teams in the country, started playing League matches on a home and away basis this year. And Al Khor, with their huge support base, has been one of the biggest success stories.

Qatar Sports Club is a side which never truly realised its full potential. It boasts of numerous Qatar national team players, the most prominent being Sebastian Quintana. He is their most charismatic striker and a ball-controlling wizard. However, even his exploits were not able to save his team from losing two vital points against a steely Umm Salal. They played out a goalless draw in front of disappointed home supporters.

Al Sadd are the strongest side in the League after defending champions Al Gharafa and Al Rayyan. They played a terrific game against Al Arabi and completed a 5-1 rout. For Al Arabi, who enjoy a huge fan following, everything they did went wrong. Their players lacked cohesiveness and the strikers failed to click. It’s high time they pulled up their socks to finish respectably in the League.

Al Sailiya has never posed much of a challenge for the competition’s main teams. They played mostly the role of a supporting actor in the bigger arena. They increased their chances of staying in the First Division with a 1-0 win over promoted side Al Kharaitiyat, who in all probability, will get relegated.

At the end of 23rd week of the Qatar Stars League, Al Gharafa leads the table with 51 points. Al Rayyan (48), Al Sadd (45), Qatar (40), Al Khor (34), Umm Salal (29), al Wakra (27), Al Arabi (22), Al Sailiya (19) and Al Kharaitiyat (14) follow them in the overall standings.

Qatar Stars League Week 23

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