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Al Rayyan stun Al Duhail to open up title race

Doha, Qatar: Yohan Boli scored the winner as Al Rayyan defeated leaders Al Duhail 1-0 to leave the Qatar Stars League title race wide open on Saturday.

Duhail still lead the table with 33 points, but Rayyan are on 31 while Sadd, who earlier defeated Al Sailiya 3-0, are a point further behind.

With eight more rounds to play, Duhail, who suffered their first league defeat of the season, look extremely shaky while Rayyan would be relieved to halt their three-match losing streak with a stunning victory.

But Sadd and their coach Xavi Hernandez, who was watching on the stands, would be absolutely thrilled with the result for they would now believe that have a very good chance of retaining the title.

The match, coach Walid Regragui's first in charge of Duhail, was mostly a scrappy affair with both teams jostling for space in a packed midfield.

Rayyan defence did a good job of marking Duhail's dangerous attackline, with Gabriel Marcado never giving an inch of space to Duhail's star striker Mario Mandzukic.

That Duhail did not manage a single shot on goal in the first half was ample proof to Rayyan's tight marking.

For Rayyan, Dame Traore header off a Tabata corner and Yacine Brahimi's deflected shot which looped kindly for Amine Lecomte was the only attempts on target.

Duhail showed much more urgency in the second half with Paulo Edmilson, in particular, working very hard on the right flank.

In the 60th minute the Belgian winger opened up Rayyan defence with a cross for Almoez Ali, but the Qatari forward's first touch let him down.

Five minute's later Brahimi showed why he is Rayyan's dangerman.

The Algerian winger produced a moment of sheer class to leave Ahmed Yasser in his wake with a drop of the shoulder before finding Boli with a perfect through ball. Rayyan's new signing from Ivory Coast did the rest, calmly slotting the ball past Lecomte to give Rayyan the lead.

Though Duhail tried to come back, Rayyan were stubborn and made sure they took all three points.


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