Doha: Ali Asad turned out to be the hero as Al Sadd played out an exciting draw with Al Sailiya in a Group B fixture of QSL Cup on Friday.
Asad scored a brace including a late equaliser for Sadd who took an early lead through Hamad Ismael.
For Sailiya Mohammed Muddather struck twice while Abdulrauf Omar also found the target.
Hamad Ismael, who was Sadd’s main attacking threat throughout the match, gave them the lead in the fifth minute.
Xavi squared the ball for an unmarked Ali Asad whose first-time shot was blocked by Abdarahman Mahmat.
However, Hamad Ismael was waiting to pounce and bundled home the rebound.
Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira fielded a host of young players alongside Xavi and Gabi were and they were sailing without much trouble until Ahmed Sayyar’s mistake in the midfield allowed Sailiya to score the equaliser in the 31st minute.
Sayyan’s loose first touch took the ball slightly away from him and Abdulrauf Omar stole it, exchanged pass with Mohamad Mdether and beat Sadd keeper Jehad Mohammed with an emphatic left-footer.
Sailiya then took the lead in the 38th after another mistake from Sadd.
Ahmed Suhail and Hussain Ali, Sadd’s central defenders, started confidently, never hesitating with their tackles and clearances, but they were under tremendous pressure as the match wore on.
And Hussain had a moment to forget in the 38th minute when he totally misjudged the flight of a cross from the left, allowing Muddather to control the ball inside the box and calmly slot it past goalkeeper Jehad Mohammed.
Asad then showed the beauty of his lazy elegance in the 43rd when he glided through the midfield and rolled a left-footer past goalkeeper Mahamat with seemingly minimum of effort.
Sadd defence endured a torrid time at the start of the second half and Sailiya, deservingly, took the lead through Muddather in the 62nd.
The striker, found by a perfect through ball, beat Jehad with an expertly-taken right-footer.
However, Sadd regained their composure and Asad scored his second, slotting in the rebound after Sayyar’s initial effort crashed onto the post, to draw level.
Xavi then thought he had scored the winner after a sweeping move but his goal was ruled out for offside.
Sadd now have four points from three matches while Sailiya are on one.
Meanwhile, Al Rayyan beat Al Shahania 3-1 to lead Group B with nine points. Lucca Borges, Rodrigo Tabata and Koh Myong-Jin found the target for Rayyan while Sultan Al Kuwari scored for Shahania. Al Khor also have nine points after registering a 3-1 victory against Al Ahli.
Helal Mohammed scored a brace - a stoppage-time penalty and a spectacular free-kick - for Khor after Said Brahmi cancelled out Meshaal Abdulla's opener for Ahli.