The Qatar Stars League has left its fans bubbling with excitement. Defending champions Al Gharafa and dark horses Al Rayyan are locked in a heated battle that could well be stretched into the final round. Although both teams stand on equal points, 48, Al Rayyan lead the table on a better goal difference.
The razor-thin margin and rivalry between the teams mean that exciting times are here for football aficionados in the country. The sport’s enthusiasts will be treated to a special fare on Saturday when the champions and the pretenders to the throne come face to face in a match-up of epic proportions.
Both teams played out their games in contrasting fashions. While Al Gharafa toiled hard for a controversial 2-1 win against Umm Salal, Al Rayyan decimated League newcomers Al Kharaitiyat 5-1. The weaklings, who do not yet have a home stadium, were overawed by their opponents and missed many chances. Al Rayyan has been playing magnificent football and they show no signs of letting up.
Al Sadd, who were touted as a potential third Togel Hongkong candidate for the revamped Qatar Stars League’s inaugural title, disappointed big time. They were held to a 1-1 draw by a relatively weaker Al Khor. Al Sadd may still be under the influences of their ‘dream match’ against Italian giants AC Milan, who played in Qatar in a testimonial match for Al Sadd captain Jaffal Rashed Al Kuwari last week.
The 23rd week of the Qatar Stars League belonged to the underdogs. Al Sailiya, who were widely expected to be soundly thrashed by Al Arabi, turned the tables on their hosts with an upset 2-1 win. Although Al Arabi missed a few key players from their line-up, Al Sailiya played with heart to beat the reds at their lair. It also helped the team to get out of the bottom rung of the Qatar Stars League (16 points), and temporarily scamper away from relegation threat. Two points now separate them from bottom-side Al Kharaitiyat (14pts)
The final game of the week, between Qatar Sports Club and Al Wakra, proved to be exciting. Qatar Sports Club, who have not won a title in quite some time, took advantage of a weak Al Wakra defence and scored twice to win 2-1. Al Wakra’s form book has shown constant fluctuations and inconsistency has been their biggest threat.
At the end of 23rd round, Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa share 48 points at the top. Al Sadd (42pts), Qatar SC (39pts), Al Khor (31pts), Umm Salal (28pts), Al Wakra (27pts), Al Arabi (22pts), Al Sailiya (16pts) and Al Kharaitiyat (14pts) are the other teams.