Doha, 8 April 2021 - Umm Salal stunned in-form Al Sailiya 1-0 to secure their place in the next season of QNB Stars League (QSL) on a day of upsets, which saw bottom-placed Al Kharaitiyat edging Al Arabi 2-1.
In yesterday’s first match at Al Ahli Stadium, Kayke Rodrigues scored the all-important goal in the 59th minute as Umm Salal celebrated having avoided the relegation play-off against Second Division runners-up.
Tiago Queiroz failed to score from the spot kick in 36th minute, a miss that proved costly for Al Sailiya.
10th-placed Umm Salal moved to 21 points after their fifth victory, while Al Sailiya remained on 26 points following their ninth defeat.
Umm Salal goalkeeper Baba Malick was impressive in the match, thwarting many attacks by Al Sailiya, who were recently crowned the Ooredoo Cup champions.
In a first attack from Umm Salal on the half-hour mark, Rabeh Yahia’s attempt was saved well by Al Sailiya goalkeeper Claude Amine, who ran to deny room to the striker.
Tiago wasted a penalty as his push on the right struck the upright, though Malick dived in the opposite direction. Referee Abdulla Ali Athba, after consulting VAR, handed the penalty for Omar Yahya’s handball following a corner kick.
Five minutes before the break, Amine made a superb save diving on his right to deflect a spectacular free-kick taken by Kayke as first half ended in a stalemate.
The Orange Fortress returned as a better side, with Ahmed Hammoudan leading the attack soon after the second half started. They won a free-kick, around 10 yards outside the box, but this time Kayke’s hit from a difficult angle was off target.
Yahya warded off an attack by Al Sailiya in the 50th minute, diving to deflect a shot by Tiago from near the penalty area.
Kayke finally broke the deadlock, following a superb run by captain Lawrance Quaye inside the box. Quaye crossed the ball, which reached Kayke after taking Amine’s touch. The Brazilian’s first attempt took Ramin Rezaeian’s rebound, with Kayke giving no chance in his second hit, volleying the ball in the left corner to score the winning goal.
Malick was influential in parrying several Al Sailiya attacks later in the match as Umm Salal secured an impressive victory.
Later at the same venue, Oumar Sako (24th minute) and Mohammed Osman Nawaf (48th minute) were on target for a consolation win for bottom-placed Al Kharaitiyat, already relegated from the QSL. Abdulaziz Al Ansari (14th minute) struck Al Arabi’s only goal.
Al Kharaitiyat’s third win of the season took them to 12 points, while Al Arabi remained seventh after suffering their ninth defeat. Al Arabi had beaten Al Kharaitiyat 3-1 in the first leg.