Bounedjah brace as Sadd slam five past Al Rayyan
September 23 2018 12:22 AM
Al Sadd’s Baghdad Bounedjah and captain Xavi celebrate after the former scored against Al Rayyan yesterday. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil

By Sports Reporter/Doha

The much-awaited ‘Qatar Clasico’ proved a no-contest thanks to Al Sadd’s ruthless demolition of Al Rayyan in the QNB Stars League yesterday.
A double by Baghdad Bounedjah (11, 70) and a goal each by Abdelkarim Hassan (31), Akram Afif (59) and Woo Young-jung (79) left Al Rayyan’s morale in tatters and their title aspirations on shaky ground.
The 5-0 victory also helped the Wolves to leap to the top of the standings on goal difference with 13 points, while Al Rayyan dropped to fourth with 11 despite having played six matches against Al Sadd’s five.
Although Al Rayyan had a few chances, Sebastian Soria and Rodrigo Tabata failed to convert them in front of a decent crowd at Al Sadd’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.
The opening goal came off a counter-attack. Hamed Ismail, tearing away on the right flank near the half line, slipped in a long ball to striker Bounedjah who was close to the Al Rayyan box.
With two defenders shadowing the tall Algerian, Bounedjah headed home over the head of keeper Omar Barry who charged out to stop the move. It was Bounedjah’s 12th goal of the season.  
In the 14th minute, Abdelkarim seemingly pushed Al Rayyan striker Sebastian Soria close to his goal, but the assistant referee ordered play on, much to the dismay of the visitors.
Close to the half hour mark, Al Sadd forward Akram Afif was beaten to the ball inside the Al Rayyan box by Barry after the striker had weaved his way past two defenders.
In the 31st minute, Abdelkarim, after a neat cross from Jung, fired a left-footed bullet from inside the Al Rayyan box. The ball hit the top of Al Rayyan net with Barry in no position to block the shot. It was his first goal of the season.
A minute from the hour mark, Al Sadd made it 3-0. Bounedjah, lurking just outside the Al Rayyan box, found an unmarked Afif with a neat cross. With ample of space to play with, Afif charged ahead with the ball and then calmly slotted the ball above the goalkeeper for his seventh goal of the season.
A minute later, Soria and Rodrigo Tabata failed to provide finishing touches to a scoring opportunity from close range with Al Sadd keeper Meshaal Barshim out of position to stop the move.
Six minutes later, a similar move by Tabata ended in vain, with the ball missing the target again.
In the 70th minute, Bounedjah produced a snap-header off a Xavi free-kick to score his second goal of the match.
South Korean star Jung then curled in a neat shot from the edge of the Al Rayyan box to score his first goal for Al Sadd.
“It was a great show by the team. We were confident of a victory but never expected to win by such a huge margin,” Al Sadd’s Hamed Ismail said.
“This win will surely help us in our campaign in the league because Al Rayyan are one of the best teams in Qatar,” he added.

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