AL AHLI 4 AL GHARAFA 2
Seasoned Qatar international Meshaal Abdullah netted twice in three minutes and set up a goal as Ahli came from behind to register a convincing win over Gharafa. Hungarian striker Krisztian Nemeth put Gharafa ahead as early as the second minute. Their joy did not last long as Meshaal made it 2-1 with a twin strike (third and fifth). Mustafa Jabbari (75th) made it 3-1 while Vladimir Weiss pulled one back in injury time. There was still time left for Ahli’s Congolese forward Firmin Mubele to score and seal an impressive win.
AL SAILIYA 0 AL ARABI 1
Former Qatar international Yousef Ahmed netted the all-important goal as Arabi, playing without any of their four foreign players, defeated Sailiya. In a game where both teams had their share of possession and chances, Yousef made the difference in the 62nd minute, slotting home from a Wagner Ribeiro pass.
UMM SALAL 2 AL KHOR 1
Umm Salal, who finished fifth last season, started off with a convincing win. Yannick Sagbo converted a penalty in the 28th to put the men in orange ahead while Mouhcine Iajour drew parity in the 55th. Ismail Mahmoud restored Umm Salal’s lead in the 66th and Bulent Uygun’s men defended the lead for the remaining half hour to troop out winners.
AL SADD 4 AL KHARAITIYAT 0
Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjgah scored two goals, and Hassan Al Haidous and Ali Asad netted one each as 13-time champions Sadd kicked off their campaign with a thumping win. Kharaitiyat, who had signed nine new players in the pre-season, were determined to make a good start, but never looked capable of upsetting Sadd’s plans.
AL RAYYAN 3 AL SHAHANIYA 0
Last season’s best player and joint top scorer Rodrigo Tabata continued his unstoppable form as his hat-trick gave champions Rayyan a commanding win against 10-man Shahaniya. Tabata netted in the 38th, 58th and deep into injury time. Unlike the scoreline indicates, the game was far from one-sided. Promoted side Shahaniya put up a fighting display, with Spanish captain Alvaro Perez, who went out seeing a red card in the 87th, impressing in their defence.
LEKHWIYA 4 MUAITHER 0
Four-time champions Lekhwiya made a strong start by drubbing Qatargas League champions Muaither. Youssef El Arabi put the newly-crowned Sheikh Jassim Cup winners ahead in the 10th minute while Qatar Under-23 forward Almoez Ali made it 2-0 in the 34th. The Cops sealed the issue through second-half goals from Ali Afif (66th) and Mohammed Muntari (78th).
EL JAISH 2 AL WAKRAH 1
Jaish squandered several chances and survived nervy moments towards the end before ending up winners against Wakrah. Uzbek striker Sardor Rashidov put the Soldiers ahead in the 25th minute while Brazilian forward Romarinho converted from the spot in the 50th to make it 2-0. Pablo Olivera pulled one back in the 74th, but Jaish held on to win.