(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Baghdad Bounedjah fired a hat-trick as leaders Al Sadd defeated a 10-man Al Rayyan 4-0 in much-awaited Qatar Clasico of the Expo Stars League, while their title rivals Al Duhail were held to a 1-1 draw by Qatar SC yesterday.
At the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Bounedjah struck in the 46th, 75th and 83rd minutes, while Gonzalo Plata found the net in the 53rd minute. Al Sadd, with two matches in hand, now have 25 points for a one-point lead over second-placed Al Gharafa. Al Rayyan, meanwhile, are fourth with 19 points.
The match started on a sour note for Rayyan, with Rodrigo Moreno getting the marching orders in the ninth minute of play for a foul on Pedro Miguel. The decision, taken after a VAR review with Moreno initially awarded a yellow card, left a bad taste in the mouths of the teeming Rayyan fans as they massively registered their protest, but to no avail.
Al Sadd though had to wait till second half to open the scoring. Hassan al-Haydous, who missed a goal attempt immediately on resumption, provided a superb one-touch assist for Bounedjah's opening goal in the 46th minute.
Al Sadd only had to wait for just six more minutes to record their second goal, with Plata taking advantage of Al Rayyan goalkeeper Fahad Younes being out of position in an attempt to arrange his wall to fire home a quick free-kick to the bottom left corner in the 52nd minute.
Bounedjah got his brace, and Al Sadd's third, in the 75th minute with a well-taken low left-footed shot from the right side of the box, after some fanciful legwork, from another al-Haydos assist following a corner kick. Bounedjah completed his hat-trick in the 83rd minute, firing home a left-footed shot following a cross from Afif to further compound the woes of Al Rayyan.
At the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Al Duhail were frustrated to a draw by Qatar SC. Essa Ahmed grabbed the equaliser for Qatar SC in the 80th minute after Suhaib Gannan had given The Red Knights the lead in the 19th minute of play. With the result, Al Duhail, who also have two matches pending, are fifth with 17 points, while Qatar SC are on 12 points.
In the other match yesterday, Al Shamal drew with Al Gharafa 1-1 draw. While Yohan Boli struck Gharafa in the 43rd minute, Ricardo Gomes did so for Al Shamal from a penalty in 90+4 minute to draw parity.
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