12/1/2017 8:24:17 PM

Hamroun's last-gasp penalty helps Sadd escape with victory


Doha: Jugurtha Hamroun's 90th minute penalty helped Al Sadd beat a battling Al Khor in a QNB Stars League match at  Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.

Sadd were cruising at one point, as Xavi Hernandez's double had given them a two-goal lead, but Khor showed plenty of character and fighting qualities to come back into the match and deserved at least a point.

Sadd are third on 24 points, just one behind leaders Al Duhail, who will take on Al Markhiya on Saturday, and Al Rayyan. 

It was all Sadd at the start of the match as they passed the ball in the midfield without posing much of a trouble for Khor defence.

After Al Khor's Hamad Mansour and Al Sadd's Jugurtha Hamroun tried to test the rival keepers with long-range shots which lacked direction and power, Xavi gave the Wolves the lead in the 15th minute from a beautifully crafted goal. 

Boualem Khoukhi, playing as the striker in the absence of injured Baghdad Bounedjah, fed Hamroun, who was making one of his trade-mark runs in the inside right channel with a well-timed through pass and the nippy forward cut the ball back for Xavi, who emphatically slotted home from close range.

After totally dominating the possession for a while, Sadd came close to conceding the equaliser in the 28th minute as Madson's left-footer from just outside the penalty area bounced in front of a diving Meshaal Barshm and had the U-23 goalkeeper in all sorts of trouble. Luckily for Sadd and their young keeper, the ball deflected off his hands onto the bar and bounced back into play.

Madson again tested Barshm a couple of minutes later with a cheeky corner, which hit the top of the bar and went out of play.

Sadd doubled their lead in the 56th minute through a classic free-kick from Xavi.

Luciano Castan fouled Ali Asad just outside the area and Xavi left Khor keeper Lecomte rooted to his spot with a sublime shot.

Al Khor hit a goal back almost immediately from a counter-attack as Soroush Hossein blasted home an attempted shot at goal from Helal Mohammed which turned to be a perfect cross.

Sadd keeper Barshm then thrice came to his team's rescue with impressive saves. First, he dived to his left to deny Madson's powerful shot from the right. Then he was called upon in quick succession to stop Helal and Hamad Mansour from scoring.

But he was helpless a few minutes later when Khor captain Naif Mubarak Al Burki's glancing header off a Hossein corner from the left sneaked into the far-bottom corner. 

Hamroun's then shot straight at Lecomte while at the other end Madson again tested Barshm as Khor started to look increasingly dangerous with their counter-attacks.

But it was Sadd who had the final say as Xavi picked Khoukhi with a perfect ball and Al Buriki had no option other than fouling the Sadd striker.

Hamroun sent Lecomte the wrong way as Sadd escaped with an invaluable victory.

Earlier, Qatar SC defeated Al Kharaitiyat 3-2 for their first victory in 10 games in all competitions.


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