Al Duhail cemented their position at the top of QNB Stars League table with a 1-0 victory over Al Sailiya at the Al Ahli Stadium on Tuesday.

Moroccan striker Yousef El Arabi scored the all-important goal in the 12th minute as defending champions Al Duhail moved to 25 points, seven more than second-placed Al Rayyan.

It was Al Duhail’s eighth victory from nine matches. The only time they dropped points was when they were held by Al Rayyan.

Al Sadd are third with 17 points, while Al Sailiya remained in the fourth position with 16 points.

This was a held-over fixture from Week 5. It had to be rescheduled due to the clash of dates as Al Duhail had AFC Champions League commitment even though they bowed out of the Asian competition in the quarterfinal stage.

Al Sadd’s game versus Al Khor in Week 5 was also rescheduled due to the same reason. It will now be played on 28th November.

El Arabi took his tally to 10 goals to stay second in the top scorers’ list, behind Al Sadd’s Baghdad Bounedjah (16 goals).

El Arabi, the league top scorer in the last two seasons, found the net after being set up by South Korean playmaker Nam Tae-Hee with a through pass.

Al Duhail midfielder Luis Martin made his return from an injury layoff, while they missed the services of Bassam Al Rawi who received his marching orders during their 4-1 win over Al Kharaitiyat last week.

Nam controlled the midfield as Al Duhail had an edge in ball possession (56 per cent) even though they forced only six corner kicks as against Al Sailiya’s seven. 

The closest Al Sailiya came to scoring was when Moroccan spearhead Rashid Tiberkanine came up with a shot that was parried by Al Duhail goalkeeper Khalifa Aboobacker, who had a good game, after 70 minutes.

Khalifa’s Al Sailiya counterpart Saoud Al Khater too shone below the bar.

Al Sailiya’s Majdi Siddique had tested Khalifa with a free-kick in the first half.