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Kodjia scores hat-trick on QSL debut as Al Gharafa drub Rayyan

Kodjia scores hat-trick on QSL debut as Al Gharafa drub Rayyan

Ayeni Olusegun
Doha
Jonathan Kodjia made a telling debut with a hat-trick just a few days after joining Al Gharafa from Aston Villa as the Cheetahs handed Al Rayyan their first QNB Stars League loss of the season.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side held off Al Rayyan to win 4-2 at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Thursday – ending a two-game winless run.
In the other match on Thursday, Abel Mathias scored the only goal of the match as Al Ahli beat Al Sailiya 1-0.
A win for Al Rayyan would have moved them top of the league but Diego Aguirre’s side despite leading 2-1, crumbled in the latter stages as Kodjia put to bed any doubts over his adaptability to the QSL.
The thrilling match saw both teams create chances and Al Gharafa were soon ahead from the spot after Al Rayyan goalkeeper brought down Moayed Hassan. Sofianne Hanni made no mistake from the spot to give Al Gharafa the lead in the 24th minute.
Al Rayyan’s latest recruit Yohan Boli soon pulled his team level when he slotted home from Moufak Awad’s cross.
Al Rayyan enjoyed more possession and almost took the lead when Brahimi set up Frank Kom but Gharafa goalie Qasem Burhan pushed his effort away from goal and Abdulaziz Hatem made a mess of the rebound as the game headed for half time.
Just past the hour mark, Al Rayyan finally got a much deserved second through substitute Sebastian Soria.
The impressive Brahimi turned his marker in and out before sending a lovely side-footed cross for Soria to guide home in the 63rd minute.
The Lions were however made to pay for their defensive lapses, conceding two goals in two minutes.
Firstly, a clumsy challenge by Lee Jae-Ik brought down Ahmed Alaaeldin in the box and Kodjia stepped up to convert for his first QSL goal.
The Cheetahs soon took the lead again through Kodjia.
The 30-year-old proved his worth again when he beat the offside trap to latch on to Adlene Guedioura’s pass which caught the Al Rayyan defence napping as Kodjia slotted under the legs of the hapless Fahad Younis in goal.
The Ivorian completed his hat-trick four minutes from time when Alaaeldin floated a pass for Kodjia who took one touch before sending a spectacular strike past Younis.
Meanwhile, Al Ahli’s first win in four matches ensured they moved up to seventh on the table. Montenegrin Nebojsa Jovovic would be glad to have his team back to winning ways but Al Sailiya’s inconsistency would give Sami Trabelsi something to worry about as they head into the AFC Champions League playoffs.

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