Doha, 9 August 2020 - Al Sadd defeated Al Duhail 1-0 in a heavyweight encounter between the holders and leaders in Week 20 of the 2019-20 season QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.
Rodrigo Tabata, who recently switched from Al Rayyan for his second spell with Al Sadd, netted the all-important goal in the 24th minute.
It was a foregone conclusion that the high-voltage battle would be fought fiercely. The star cast on both sides added spice to it.
Al Duhail still lead the standings with 46 points, while Al Sadd moved on to 41 and are placed third.
Al Rayyan are second with 45 points following their 1-0 win over Al Sailiya on Thursday.
With two matches remaining in the competition, Al Sadd only have a mathematical chance of retaining the league shield. The fight for title is directly between Al Duhail and Al Rayyan.
Al Sadd have been on a roll, beating Al Khor 2-1 and Al Ahli 1-0, ever since the resumption of QNB Stars League with Week 18 action.
It was also a sweet revenge for The Wolves, who had lost 1-4 to The Red Knights in the league’s first leg.
Al Duhail’s Han Kwang-Song marked the opening of exchanges with a shot straight to goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari, who was outstanding below the bar.
Al Sadd showed more purpose in the first half, while Al Duhail had relatively more domination in the latter session though they were unlucky.
The only goal came when Tabata placed home a rebound from goalkeeper Mohammed Al Bakri after he was set up by Baghdad Bounedjah following the first attempt, a power-packed angular shot, by Hassan Al Haydous.
Al Sadd almost doubled the lead in the 36th minute, but for Bounedjah sending his shot wide.
After Al Duhail’s Almoez Ali headed over the bar in the 44th minute, Hashim Ali could not connect a Bounedjah pass in injury time.
Al Dossari palmed away an Almoez header in the 58th minute. Soon, Han’s shot hit the goalkeeper’s body.
Al Duhail’s Ismail Mohammed, Mohammed Muntari and Paulo Edmilson too made attempts at the goal.
Both teams effected a couple of substitutions as the game wore on, but it failed to produce a second goal.