Doha, 25 November 2023 - A determined Al Shamal upstaged Qatar SC 2-0 in their own backyard as the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League made a return after the international break with the Week 9 opener at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium of Qatar Sports Club.
Qatar SC, who suffered a big setback when their Cameroonian midfielder Raoul Sanda was shown a red card in the 24th minute of the match, could not find a way to go up on the score sheet despite some very close chances.
Al Shamal on their part were fluent and showed good intent coming off with a well-earned positive result.
Faisal Mohammed Azadi (fourth minute) and Omid Ebrahimi (34th minute) struck the goals for Al Shamal.
Their second win of the league saw Al Shamal move on to nine points, while Qatar SC remained on eight points.
Al Shamal moved into the lead straightaway with a fast co-ordinated move with the young Mahdi Salem making a run down the right. He sent the ball to Ricardo Gomes inside the box before running down in to take the pass back and make a strike. The hit however was blocked by Qatar SC goalkeeper, but Faisal Azadi was well in place to catch the ball on rebounce and make a telling header.
The goal seemed to have jolted Qatar SC who tried to make a fightback but in the 16th minute captain Javier Matinez’s powerful left-foot strike just missed the top left corner of the post.
The side then suffered the loss of Sanda, who while going for a ball landed his shoe on the thigh of Al Shamal’s Mohammed Al Jabri. The referee first flashed the yellow card, but following a VAR review pulled out the red, the decision reducing Qatar SC to 10 men.
Al Shamal soon doubled their lead, with Azadi again being in the mix as he moved into the striking zone from the right and sent in a cross to Gomes who, while negotiating defenders, passed the ball to an unmarked Ebrahimi to unleash a successful kick into the right corner of the net.
Al Shamal’s incisive play and clean strikes left Qatar SC searching for answers and they had more defending to do than attack.
Just before the half-time whistle, Qatar SC were again left to rue their luck as a Bruno Tabata shot deflected off a defender, but went on to hit the left post. The ball then went right to Al Shamal goalkeeper Abdulla El Rady, who did a fine job for the side.
El Rady made many saves and kept off a couple of powerful strikes of Qatar SC.
The second session was comparatively subdued, but also saw touch and go moments. In the 52nd minute, a Gomes header just went to the left from a superb chance for Qatar SC.
Later in the 63rd minute, Ben Malango made a header, but it went over the bar and into the overhead net.
Al Shamal could well have made it 3-0 when substitute Fahad Waad sent in an inviting cross from the left, but none of their three players could find to make a connection in front of the goal.