(MENAFN- The Peninsula) fawad hussain |
Doha: Frenchman Loick Landre scored a stoppage time winner as Al Shamal edged Al Khor 2-1 in play-off to retain their place in the QNB Stars League (QSL) yesterday.
After finishing 11th in the top flight, the Wesam Rizik's side was pitted against Second Division runners-up Al Khor for a place in QSL's 2023-2024 season.
With both the teams fighting hard at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium for the coveted spot, Landre smashed the decisive goal in fifth minute of stoppage time after Al Khor's Jugurtha Hamroun equalised Ali Iyad Olwan's first minute goal by converting a penalty in 56th minute.
After the kick off, Al Shamal immediately went into the lead with Olwan picking up a fine lob from Yacine Bammou's to put the ball past goalkeeper Baba Djibril with an angular shot.
Al Shamal maintained a better ball possession throughout the first half but they were unable to find more goals against Al Khor, who hardly posed threat to them in the session.
Fahad Waad came close to double Al Shamal advantage after he surged ahead from the left but he missed the target as his shot from an angle hit the side netting, four minutes before the break.
The opening half that saw two yellow cards each for both the sides ended with a scuffle between Al Shamal's Jasim Ali Al Hashimi and Hamroun with both being cautioned by the referee.
Al Khor returned as a better side and equalised through a Hamroun spot kick in 56th minute after a foul against his teammate Obieda Ahmad by Mohammed Ahmed Al Jabri. The Algerian midfielder comfortably beat goalkeeper Babacar Seck with a low hit into the right corner of the net.
As the game was heading towards the extra time, Landre availed a golden opportunity netting the winner from a close range after receiving a rebound from goalkeeper Djibril, who punched away a header by Obieda Ahmad following a corner kick.
Al Shamal celebrated their victory in style hoping for a better show in their next outing after an unimpressive performance in the season that saw them earning only 18 points from five wins and three draws while losing 14 matches.
The new season is expected to start in August with Al Duhail being the defending champions after topping standings ahead of runners-up Al Arabi and third-placed Al Sadd.
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