Al Rayyan Club made the life of holders Al Arabi Club difficult in the QVA League as the former eight-time champions twice came from behind to win the crucial match on Saturday.
After Al Wakrah Club took four sets to beat the hosts Qatar Sports Club, there was an intense and intriguing battle between Al Rayyan Club and 25-time winners Al Arabi. However, it was the former who won the fight for pride, winning by 20-25 25-16 22-25 25-16 15-12.
Al Arabi Club won the first set at 20 and then won again the third at 22 to lead 2-1. Al Rayyan Club unleashed a potent attack and negated the advantage in the fourth set, before pulling off the tie-break fifth set to complete the thrilling victory.
Professional Cuban player Yosleyder Cala and Dusan Petkovic were instrumental in Al Rayyan Club’s five-set victory in almost two hours. Cala collected 21 points, while opposite Petkovic garnered 15.
For Al Rayyan Club, middle player Mubarak Dahi Waleed put in a blazing performance and netted valuable 11 points.
Fabricio Souza, figuring in his first match for Al Arabi after switching from Qatar Sports Club, had a match-high 23 points but it was unfortunate to see him ending on the losing side. Renan Rebeiro tried to assist him in getting the team moving forward as he got 11 points but other players could not make the similar impression.
With the 15th win in 18 matches, Al Rayyan Club are in the fourth place. After managing only 43 points till now, their League title dream looks a distant possibility. But they have really dealt out a big blow to Al Arabi.
After having been tied at 45 points each with El Jaish, Al Arabi Club are three points behind the leaders Police. With two more matches to go, the League appears to have become open for the leading three teams.
Al Wakrah Club beat Qatar Sports Club 25-20 26-28 25-20 25-20
Al Rayyan Club beat Al Arabi Club 23-25 25-19 22-25 25-16 15-12