Doha: Captain Rodrigo Tabata made an assist and scored a trademark freekick goal as Al Rayyan defeated Al Kharaitiyat 2-1 in the Qatar Stars League on Saturday.
Rayyan were still without their new signing Jonathan Menendez, while Khalfan Ibrahim partnered Sebastian Soria and Tabata in the attack.
The first noteworthy effort on goal from either side came from the boot of Kharaitiyat’s new recruit Jugurtha Hamroun, but the former Al Sadd forward’s sweetly struck volley was straight at Rayyan keeper Omar Barry, who saved it albeit with some difficulty.
Rayyan had a strong claim for a penalty when Tabata tumbled inside the box, but referee Mohammed Al Shammari did not anything wrong.
Soria then had a chance to put Rayyan ahead, but his shot, after neatly chesting down Myon Gin-Koh’s header, was saved by Kharaitiyat keeper Ahmed Sofiyan.
However, Rayyan took the lead in the 40th minute when Gonzalo Viera headed home captain Tabata’s freekick from the left.
Tabata made 2-0 at the start of the second half when curled home a powerful freekick that was won by Khalfan just outside the box.
Khalfan then linked up with Tabata to split open Kharaitiyat defence, but his left-footer was wayward.
Just when it looked Rayyan had the match in their grip, Kharaitiyat reduced the deficit and made it look simple.
Rayyan’s U-23 player Mowafak Awad, who had an impressive match otherwise, couldn’t control an awkward ball in the midfield and in a flash Valentin Lazar was on the attack on the left and he crossed the ball into the box where substitute Abdul Hadi Amin effortlessly passed it into the net.
The win helped Rayyan surge to third in the table with eight points from four games, below leaders Sailiya and Al Arabi, who thrashed Umm Salal in the second match of the day, although both Duhail and Al Sadd can overtake them with victories on Sunday.
For Arabi, who have been in impressive form after the 10-1 mauling at the hands of Al Sadd, Mohamed Salah scored a brace while Jasser Yehia Medany, Franco Arizala, Mohamed Salah and Mailson (penalty) also found the target.
Yannick Sagbo scored the only goal for Umm Salal who finished the match with ten men after Bilal Mohammed saw his second caution and marching orders in the fifth minute of added time.