QSL: Al Rayyan look to seal top spot with win over Al Gharafa

  • 8 months   ago
QSL, Qatar day football news, qatar day news

Qatar's football giants Al Rayyan can climb to the top of QNB Stars League (QSL) points table for the first time this season today, and coach Diego Aguirre doesn’t want to miss the chance.

In what has been dubbed the ‘clash between the heavyweights’, former champions Al Rayyan will visit Al Gharafa for their Round 13 game, hoping to surpass points leaders Al Duhail with a victory over the ‘Cheetahs’.


Al Rayyan (28 points) are only two points behind Al Duhail, who face Al Arabi tomorrow.

Al Gharafa are placed fourth with 20 points, four points adrift defending champions Al Sadd.

Aguirre-coached Al Rayyan are returning to action after their 1-4 defeat to eventual champions in the Qatar Cup semi-final, but the prospects of topping the league is a motivating factor for the ‘Lions’.

“We go into this match with an opportunity to go top of the standings and thus stay strongly in contention for the title,” Aguirre said at a pre-match press conference yesterday.

“The match against Al Gharafa is considered by us as one of the most important games this season. They are one of the best teams and we will bring out our best,” he added.

Aguirre said his team left Al Sadd defeat behind and will take on Al Gharafa with full confidence.

“I didn’t see that there was any impact on my team after the loss against Al Sadd in the Qatar Cup semi-final. We have fully forgotten that game. It is now a thing of the past. Our focus is now on the Al Gharafa match and we have to remain like that if we are to get a positive result,” he said.

“This match has special importance, so we must be 100 percent ready to win it. After this match, we will have an important fixture at the continental level. However, my focus is on the next game, which is against Al Gharafa. We realise that the coming period we have important local and continental competitions,” said Al Rayyan coach.

Meanwhile, Al Gharafa coach Slavisa Jokanovic said his team was ready for the ‘important’ home game.

“It is a good thing that the team trained last week with full squad after the return of those who represented the Qatar Olympic team and new professional player Jonathan Kodjia from Ivory Coast. We must improve our level and results,” Jokanovic said yesterday.

“In the next stage, we will have a continuation of matches, which is a good thing for us and for all teams. We are expecting a lot from our new recruit Kodjia, having played with only one striker for six months. He is undoubtedly a good addition to the attack, but we must give him the opportunity also to adapt to the team,” he added.

“Al Rayyan, considering their position in the standings (second), are considered as one of the strongest teams. They are showing better levels than last season and are competing for the title. They have a group of outstanding players, so the game is going to be difficult,” said Jokanovic.

The match will kick off at 6:40pm after Al Sailiya and Al Ahli square off in today’s first match at Ahli Stadium.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com