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Duhail begin home stretch to QNB League title at freefalling Kharaitiyat

Duhail begin home stretch to QNB League title at freefalling Kharaitiyat


IKOLI VICTOR
doha
Al Duhail begin the final push towards a 6th QNB Stars League title away against second from bottom club Al Kharaitiyat on Friday, after seeing off their nearest challengers last week.
Duhail's 3-2 win over second-placed Al Sadd at the Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Stadium last week stretched their lead at the league's summit to five points and their unbeaten streak to 19 matches. They now need two wins from their remaining 3 fixtures to win the title. But they may still be crowned champions on Friday if Al Sadd fails to beat fourth-placed Umm Salal and they collect maximum points.
Kharaitiyat is the most beaten team in the league with twelve losses. A defeat against Duhail will almost certainly condemn the Thunders to relegation, though they are a point above Markhiya on 12 points."The game is important for the two teams, we will enter it in order to close the distance between us and the title, while Al Khraitiyat will try to escape from relegation," Belmadi said at a press conference on Thursday.
On his team's fitness level, he said the Al Sadd match took a toll on his players."I think our match against Sadd has clearly affected our fitness and Sadd as well."This was seen in our match in Uzbekistan, fatigue is not only physical but also mental."
Al Kharaitiyat coach Yasser Sebaei says his players will give everything against Duhail to win the game."We know the importance of this game. Al Duhail is in the best situation, not just in Qatar, but also in Asia. We must throw everything into this game and we are prepared for it."
"We have been suffering from individual mistakes in the last few games. We start matches in a positive way, but then fade out as they progress. Some players have not been performing to their potential. There is no room for selfishness in football," Sebaei said.
"We are not bothered about the ranking. We take one match at a time and focus on it. These last three games are like finals. I know my players are under pressure. I always try to make them relax in training. It is our duty to get them in a relaxed state of mind both while training and playing. Only then will they bring out their best," he added.
There are other mouthwatering fixtures on Friday, third-place Rayyan take on Al Arabi. Sailiya face Gharafa, while Umm Salal host Al Sadd. While Rayyan suffered their biggest defeat of the season last week, 5-1 drubbing against Gharafa, Arabi coasted to a resounding 3-1 victory over Markhiya.
Al Rayyan coach Michael Laudrup said:"We had very limited time to prepare for this match as we arrived in Doha only on Wednesday evening after our game against Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh in the AFC Champions League."
"So this will be a good opportunity to field young players as the seniors will be spared of exhaustion. Moreover, that will give them more confidence and also playing time to improve their abilities," he said.
Laudrup added that regardless of the squad he fields, his team enters each and every game with the aim of winning."So fielding young players doesn't mean that we are not going for victory."
Al Arabi coach Luka Bonacic said:"We know what we have to do against Al Rayyan. Every game is like a final for us. Al Rayyan is a big team with good players. There is a big difference in the level of both teams in terms of the quality of professional players.
"Our aim is for one point against Al Rayyan and to win the last two matches. We have no other way to finish in a better position in the standings. I hope we put up good football in this game," Bonacic added.

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