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Al Rayyan started their QNB Stars League campaign with a 4-2 away win over Al Khor on Saturday evening. Both sides were reduced to ten men in the game, but Al Rayyan prevailed thanks to a brace from captain Rodrigo Tabata and debut goals for summer signings Abdulrazak Hamdullah and Mouhcine Moutouali.

Michael Laudrup’s side took an early lead from the penalty spot on the 13th minute. Khor defender Khalid Nawaf handled the ball in the box, leaving the referee little choice but to award the penalty. Club captain Rodrigo Tabata stepped up and slotted the ball away to the right hand side to give tge Lions the lead. 

Al Rayyan dominated early proceedings, and it wasn’t long till they doubled their lead through summer signing Abdulrazak Hamdullah, a clipped ball from Mohammed Jumma found the Moroccan international who showed pace and composure to finish into the bottom right hand side pass keeper Papa Djibril for his first goal for Al Rayyan

Khor lacked ideas in the final third and failed to create a chance of note in the first half. Long balls to summer signing David da Silva failed to find their mark, leaving Khor coach Laurent Bandine frustraited on the sidelines. 

Whilst for Al Rayyan, they looked formidable in attack and could of headed into the break with a four goal lead had efforts from Hamdullah and youngster Sultan Al Kuwari hit the target. The complexion of the contest changed on the 47th minute when South Korean midfielder Koh Myong-jin was shown a second yellow for a reckless tackle on Iranian midfielder Soroush Rafiei. Khor captain Naif Al Buraki also saw yellow in the resulting melee. The first half ended 2-0 in favour of Al Rayyan. 

In the second half Khor were promptly reduced to ten men when Naif Al Buraki picked up a second yellow for a rash tackle on Rodrigo Tabata. 

Al Khor found their way back into the match via the penalty post on the hour mark as striker David Da Silva was fouled in the area by Mussa Haroon. Al Khor attacker Madson stepped up for his side and confidently knocked the ball past Omar Barry to make the score 2-1. 

The Lions looked the more dangerous, and could of quickly added a third had Tabata’s long distance strike not thumped against the crossbar. Ten minutes later Al Rayyan found a third to all but seal the game in fortuitous circumstances through their captain.

After being  bundled down from 30 yards out, Tabata stepped up and smashed a freekick towards the bottom left hand corner. Keeper Papa Djibril looked set to save the ball, however it slipped through his arms to give the Lions a 3-1 lead. 

Despite being down to ten men, Rayyan looked the more composed of the two sides and scored a fourth on the 85th minute via substitute Mouhcine Moutouali who latched onto a  Abdulrazak Hamdullah to score the goal of the evening. Minutes later the ball was again in the back of the net, but this time of Al Khor. Defender Khalid Nawaf made up for his earlier handball, to head the ball into the back of the net. That proved to be the end of Khor’s fightback, as Rayyan held on for the remainder of the match to pick up the 4-2 win.