Doha, Qatar: Al Sadd celebrated their QNB Stars League triumph with a 6-1 thrashing of Umm Salal on Saturday that also helped them reach the 100-goal mark.
In their final league match of the season, which was also the final one in the QSL for coach Jesualdo Ferreira and captain Xavi Hernandez, Sadd turned on the style in the second half after a battling first 45 minutes.
"It was important that we continue our form and smash more records, which is the best preparation for the upcoming Pakhtakor match in the AFC Champions League, said Ferreira, who had earlier announced that it would be his last season with the Wolves.
"I will leave the team at the end of the current season because my contract will end, after a great period spent with one of the best teams in Qatar and Asia," said Ferriera who proudly watched from the sidelines as his boys yet again tore down their opponents.
Akram Afif scored a double while Boualem Khoukhi, Hassan Al Haydous, Hassan Ahmed Palang and Ali Asad also found the target for Sadd who were unplayable for the most part of the season.
But they were far from their best at the start of the match as Abdulkarim Hassan and Ali Asad missed chances to take the lead while they needed a Pedro block in the 19th to stop Mahmoud Almawas from opening the scoring for Umm Salal.
Yannick Sagbo’s powerful shot also got a deflection and off the resulting corner, he fired his header over the bar as Sadd defence was unusually under constant pressure.
But after Abdulkarim tested Basel Samih with a fierce shot at the near post, Khoukhi put Sadd ahead when he met Afif’s freekick from the right with a towering header.
The lead did not last long, however, as Sagbo beat Meshaal Barshim in Sadd goal with a powerful grounder in the 33rd minute.
Five minutes later, Sadd retook the lead courtesy of a VAR penalty.
Al Haydous was fouled inside the box as he tried to lay off the ball for Gabi and although Khamis Al Marri allowed the play to go on and Umm Salal cleared the ball to safety and even launched an attack of their own, the referee stopped the play to check the video replay before awarding the decision in favour of Sadd.
Al Haydous coolly slotted the ball into the corner to make it 2-1.
Sadd had a chance to make it three soon after the half-time break but Afif’s shot was stopped by Samih.
Umm Salal would be disappointed by their final inability to challenge for the top-four positions, but in Sagbo they have a deadly marksman and the Ivorian nearly scored his second after a beautifully crafted move.
The counter-attack started deep in their own half with Adel Alawi releasing Omar Yahya on the left. The left-back gave the ball to Sagbo, who broke into Sadd area with a neat one-two with Almawas and fired a powerful shot that was tipped over the bar by Barshim.
Sadd took full advantage of the let off and within a few minutes, the match was over as a contest after a flurry of goals from the hosts.
Hassan Ahmad Palang made it 3-1 in the 57th with a close range finish while Afif made it 4-1 in the 63rd.
Five minutes later, Ali Asad too got his name into the score sheet with a neat finish from inside the box while Afif scored his second of the match in the 69th.
In between Bounedjah came on as a substitute, but this time he failed to find his name on the scoresheet and could not add to his record-shattering tally of 39 goals.
Meanwhile, in other early matches, second-placed Duhail defeated Al Arabi 3-0 while Al Shahania beat Al Gharafa 3-1.