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Bounedjah, El Arabi score hat-trick in style for clubs

Bounedjah, El Arabi score hat-trick in style for clubs

Ikoli Victor
Fearsome strikers Baghdad Bounedjah and Youssef El Arabi scored hat-tricks for their respective club as the second stanza of the 2018 QNB Stars League got underway on Thursday.
Al Sadd pummelled Al Kharaitiyat 7-1 while defending champions Al Duhail put Al Shahania to the sword with a 5-1 thumping. Meanwhile, the Netherlands' most capped international player Wesley Sneijder scored a brace for Gharafa as they defeated Qatar SC 2-0.
Duhail remain untouchable at the top of the league standings with 31 points, eight points ahead of their rival Al Sadd with a game still to play. While the Wolves continue to bang in the goals, with 45 scored in 10 matches, Duhail are behind with 13 adrift.
Bounedjah maintains his goal-scoring spree with a hat-trick to take his tally to 19 for the season. He is closely followed by El Arabi with 14. If both continue at this pace, one of the two will break the national record of 27 goals scored in the 2007-08 season by Brazilian Clemerson de Araújo of Al Gharafa.
Jesualdo Ferreira's men continued their return to form with a seven-star performance. Two goals in the 17th and 28th minutes gave the Wolves the perfect start as Bounedjah tapped in from close range and Hamid Ismail pounced on a loose ball inside the box to slot home. Abdelkarim Hassan struck beautifully from Bounedjah's pass to make it 3-0 in the 37th minute as the half time ended with Sadd having a three-goal lead.
A minute into the second half, Akram Afif teed the ball for Bounedjah to make it 4-0. Afif got his goal from the penalty spot, his eleventh of the season. Bounedjah was on hand to complete his hat-trick in the 85th minute before Ahmed Sayyar completed the rout in regulation time.
Al Duhail extended their unbeaten run to eleven games in the league with a comprehensive victory. It could have been more for The Red Knights but for seven saves by goalkeeper Khalifa al Dosari. It was the sixth meeting between the two sides in the top division as Duhail claimed the fifth win over their less illustrious opponent.
El Arabi scored two goals in the first half and another in the second as the defending champions marched to their 10th win of the season.
El Arabi broke the deadlock in the 24th, his second in the 41st and third in the 67th minute. He was well supported by Paulo Edmilson (46th) and Nam Tae-Hee (90+3) as The Red Knights eased to an easy victory.
Shahania's consolation goal came from Ramin Semeskandi's long-range free-kick in the 87th minute that Al Duhail goalkeeper Khalifa Aboobacker failed to stop.


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