Al Sadd left fans with little doubt that they are the most dominant team in Qatar as they celebrated another historic win in the final of the Qatar Stars League last week.
Perhaps even more impressively, it seems that the departure of Xavi Hernández and a large chunk of his coaching staff to FC Barcelona had little impact on the dynamics of the team, which continued to put in stellar performances as they secured a dominant victory over José Pozo’s Al Ahli squad.
The final score was 8-2, resulting in Al Sadd being proclaimed as Qatar Stars League Champions for the 16th time in the League’s history.
Although they still have pending matches, this victory gave Al Sadd 52 points and put them 10 points ahead of the Al Duhali SC, who are currently in second place. With four games left to the reigning champion’s tour, this latest victory all but secured the championship for Al Sadd.
Of these eight goals, Akram Afif, Al Haydos, Khoukhi, Santi Cazorla, Bounedjah, Youssef Abdel and Ayew all made a contribution. This was made all the easier when Al Ahli was reduced to 10 men shortly after the first quarter of the game.
Akram Afif scoed the opening goal for Al Sadd just 10 minutes into the match, which was followed up by a penalty by Hassan Al Haydos in the 29th minute. Following this, goals were scored by Boualem Khoukhi in the 33rd, Santi Cazorla in the 26th and Baghdad Bounedjah in the 43rd minute. These efforts put Al Sadd five goals up as the first half of the match drew to a close.
Having received a stirring half-time speech, Al Ahli clawed two goals in the 51st and 61st minutes thanks to the efforts of Abdulrasheed Umaru and Al Dokali Al Seyed, respectively. However, Al Sadd returned the favor when Andre Ayew and Yousuf Abdurisag scored three goals in the 66nd, 77th and 94th minutes. This gave the dominant champions an 8-2 lead over a battered looking Al Ahli.
Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah looked particularly proud as he lay his hands on the Falcon Shield. In his speech reflecting on the victory, Bounedjah expressed his gratitude for the team’s owners, their fans and his family.
In terms of what the future holds for the dominant champions, Javi Garcia’s side will now focus on the 2022 AFC Champions League, which is due to take place in the coming weeks.
This will be a marked step-up in difficulty, however, with Al Sadd due to face stiff competition in the opening stages of the tournament. Al Sadd is in Group E of the AFC Champions League, with Saudi Arabia’s Al Faisaly and Jordan’s Al Wehdat lying in wait.
Whether Al Sadd will be able to continue this dominant run in the AFC Champions League remains to be seen.