Doha, Qatar: Mario Mandzukic made his Qatar debut but his team Al Duhail SC were held to a goalless draw by a resolute Qatar SC in the Qatar Stars League on Saturday.
Duhail coach Rui Fari put Mandzukic in the starting line-up at Al Gharafa Stadium where Qatar SC made sure there was as little space as possible to operate for the dangerous attack line of the Red Knights.
The former Juventus maestro was unlucky to have an early goal chalked off for a marginal offside decision.
Qatar SC took confidence from that call and they too had a goal disallowed midway through the first half when Sardor Rashidov’s clinical finish was ruled out by the linesman for offside.
Qatar SC went close again when Kayke Rodrigues forced Amine Lecomte into an excellent save from distance before two quickfire attempts from Yousef Msakni failed to challenge the scoreboard.
In spite of the lack of goals, it was certainly a feisty match as both teams were made to work hard for the few opportunities that were created. Paulo Edmilson and Mandzukic both went close for Al Duhail in the second half, but were unable to make the pressure count.
The clearest opportunity for a match-winner came from Kayke when he found himself free in the area and, from an acute angle, executed a glorious chipped shot over the goalkeeper which drifted agonisingly wide of the upright.
A draw was a fair result between the teams and Qatar SC will be the most content as they now have 14 points. Al Duhail climb to 30 points and marginally extended their lead over second-placed Al Rayyan to two points.