Goals from Baghdad Bounedjah and Akram Afif gave Al-Sadd a 2-0 win over Al-Sailiyah in the QNB Stars League Round 19 game played on Saturday at the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium.
The result keeps Al-Sadd’s four-point lead at the top of the table intact, taking the team’s tally to 50.
After a strong start to the game, Bounedjah could have given Al-Sadd the lead in the 10th minute but his shot was kept out by Al-Sailiyah keeper Saoud Al-Khater for a corner.
In the 18th minute, Bounedjah broke the deadlock. Abdelkarim Hassan sent in a cross from the left, which was not properly dealt with by the Al-Sailiyah backline, leaving Bounedjah to head in past the keeper.
Al-Sadd went on to create several chances to add to their lead in the first half but to no avail.
After the restart, Al-Sadd head coach brought on Hamid Ismail in place of Abdelkarim. Hamid took his place at the right-back position while Pedro Miguel moved to the centre of defence alongside Khoukhi Boualem, and Tareq Salman played at left-back.
Al-Sailiyah were reduced to ten men on 65 minutes, when their keeper Saoud Al-Khater hacked down Akram Afif outside of the box. Al-Sadd then made their second change, with Xavi Hernandez making his return from injury by replacing Ali Asad.
In the 82nd minute, Al-Sailiyah were given a penalty after Khoukhi was adjudged to have handled the ball. Abdelqadir Ilyas took the kick but Al-Sadd custodian Saad Al-Dosari saved it to keep his side in the lead.
Two minutes later, Afif raced past the Al-Sailiyah defenders after being released by a great through ball from Xavi and then went around the substitute keeper, before finishing to make it 2-0.
Al-Sadd x Al-Sailiyah
(QNB Stars League Round 19)
Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium, Al Ahli Club
Al-Sadd: Saad Al-Dosari, Pedro Miguel, Tareq Salman, Khoukhi Boualem, Abdelkarim Hassan (Hamid Ismail), Jung Woo-young (Salem Al-Hajri), Gabi, Ali Asad (Xavi), Hassan Al-Haydos, Baghdad Bounedjah, Akram Afif
Al-Sailiyah: Saoud Al-Khater, Hamad Al-Abidi, Mauricio Junior, Abdulrahman Mohammed, Rashid Tiberkanine (Magdi Siddiq), Mirghani Al-Zain (Abdulrahman A), George Kwesi, Bilal Mohammed, Fahad Yousef, Nadir Belhadji, Abdulqadir Ilyas
Al-Sadd won 2-0
Baghdad Bounedjah 18′
Akram Afif 84′
Abdulqadir Ilyas 14′
Saoud Al-Khater 65′ (Red card)
Khoukhi Boualem 82′
Salem Al-Hajri 90+4′
Saoud Al-Athba (Main referee)
Taleb Salem (Linesman)
Zahi Al-Shammari (Linesman)
Nayef Al-Qadri (Fourth official)