The matches of Week 8 of the 2023-2024 season Expo Stars League were full of excitement. A total of 27 goals were scored across the six matches.
The biggest scoring was in the match between Al Gharafa and Al Arabi (nine goals) and the biggest margin of victory was achieved by Al Sadd over Al Markhiya (5-0). Al Sadd and Al Wakrah emerged with clean sheets and the round did not witness any draws.
While the round opened with a five-goal victory for Al Sadd over Al Markhiya, it concluded with a five goals scored by Al Gharafa as against four by Al Arabi in one of the most thrillers of the season, which witnessed nine goals scored and a missed penalty kick in the final seconds for Al Arabi.
The struggle for the lead continued between Al Sadd, who maintained the top spot on goal difference over Al Gharafa who are second-placed, and behind them, Al Wakrah and Al Duhail, who returned to the competitive action strongly under the leadership of their new French coach Christophe Galtier.
Al Shamal achieved their first victory.
The results of Week 8 fixtures saw Al Sadd beat Al Markhiya 5-0; Muaither lose to Umm Salal 1-3; Al Duhail beat Al Rayyan 3-2; Al Wakrah beat Qatar SC 1-0; Al Ahli lose to Al Shamal 1-2 and Al Gharafa beat Al Arabi 5-4.
Al Sadd succeeded in maintaining their top spot in the standings, which they regained two weeks ago by achieving a grand victory over Al Markhiya by five goals. Al Sadd confirmed their superiority from the beginning of the match and scored all five goals in the first half through Baghdad Bounedjah and Akram Afif (who scored a super hat-trick), while Al Markhiya did not perform as expected and suffered the second loss in a row after achieving their first victory over Al Shamal in the sixth week.
Al Sadd increased their points tally to 19 points at the top of the standings and still have a postponed match, while Al Markhiya are still in last place with three points.
Al Gharafa also achieved an exciting 5-4 victory over Al Arabi, in a fiery, heavy-caliber match in which the excitement continued until the final seconds in one of the strongest matches of the season.
With this result, Al Gharafa raised their points to 19 and are in second place in the ranking table, same with Al Sadd, who have the advantage of goal difference and have a postponed match. Al Arabi remained in eighth place with six points after suffering their second loss in a row after the defeat in the last round against Al Ahli.
Al Duhail continued their resurgence by achieving their third victory in a row, after overturning a 0-2 deficit against Al Rayyan to record an exciting 3-2 victory. Al Rayyan were the first to take the lead with two goals through Roger Guedes in the 15th and 41st minutes, but Al Duhail staged a wonderful comeback in the second half, during which they scored three goals.
Al Moez Ali opened the scoring for Al Duhail in the 59th minute from a penalty kick, while Kenyan Michael Olunga added the second and third goals in the 80th and 88th minutes. Al Duhail occupy fourth place after increasing their tally to 16 points, behind Al Wakrah, who are in third place (17 points), while Al Rayyan, who suffered their third defeat this season and the second in a row, remained on 15 points and are in fifth place.
Umm Salal, led by their coach Patrice Carteron, succeeded in turning their loss with a goal in the first half against newcomer Muaither into a valuable victory with a score of 3-1 in the second half, thanks to a wonderful hat-trick scored by their Algerian star Andy Delort.
Umm Salal raised their points to 11 points and are in sixth place after achieving their third victory this season, while Muaither’s remained on four points and are in 11th place after suffering their sixth loss in a row.
Al Wakrah continued their victories and strong performances with an important victory for them, at the expense of Qatar SC, with a clean goal scored by Egyptian midfielder Hamdi Fathi with a shot into the far corner that sealed the three points.
Al Wakrah raised their points to 17 points and are in third place, compared to eight points for Qatar SC, who are in seventh place and suffered their fourth loss this season.
The match witnessed a missed penalty kick by Moroccan Badr Benoun, a Qatar SC player, in the 90th minute, meaning the team wasted the opportunity to equalize and emerge with a point.
Al Shamal succeeded in achieving their first victory this season by defeating Al Ahli and although the first half ended in a 1-1 draw, Al Shamal’s professional Ricardo Gomes gifted his team three valuable points by scoring the winning goal, raising the team’s points to six. They are now in ninth place, equal in points with Al Arabi (eighth) and Al Ahli (10th).
Source: Qatar News Agency