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Al Rayyan beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal to surge to top

Doha: Al Rayyan shed the lackadaisical approach that has plagued their QNB Stars League campaign in recent matches to beat Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal 2-1 in the AFC Champions League on Monday.

The victory helped Rayyan, who drew their first three matches, top Group D with six points, alongside Esteghlal who were held 1-1 by UAE’s Al Ain in the other match.

Rayyan had been rudderless in their last two QSL matches, losing 1-6 to Al Gharafa and 1-3 to Al Arabi, but they did not show any sign of distress against Hilal and Abderrazaq Hamdallah put them ahead in the 44th minute, when he converted a penalty.

Rayyan doubled their lead in the 66th when Hamdallah found Rodrigo Tabata inside the box after a quick counter and the Lions captain made no mistake with his effort to make it 2-0.

Hilal got a goal back in the 90th minute after Ahmed Yasser fouled Achraf Bencharki in the box and Yasser Al Qahtani drove home the resulting penalty kick.

Al Rayyan travel to Esteghlal in their next match while Hilal take on Al Ain.

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