Coutinho scores on Al-Duhail debut
The former Barça player opened his account and had a hand in another for his new team, Al-Duhail in the 1-2 victory against Al Markhiya.
New league, new start - although on a different level. Philippe Coutinho made his long-awaited debuted for Al Duhail this evening in the Qatar Stars League, and it all went to plan for the Brazilian. Coutinho, who Barcelona paid Liverpool €140 million for six seasons ago, scored his first goal in his first game for Hernán Crespo’s side. He also played a part in the winner, helping Al-Duhail to beat Al Markhiya 1-2.
Coutinho featured in the starting XI and didn’t disappoint. During the opening half he left several details of his quality - he was brought down in the box while weaving his way past three defenders on 16 minutes. Michael Olunga rifled in the resulting penalty to put Al-Duhail ahead.
Bend it like Phil
Driss Fettouhi equalized for the hosts before the half hour mark but the visitors were back in front in stoppage time as the first half came to a close. A free-kick was awarded 25 meters out on the left-hand side and despite the tight angle, Coutinho managed to bend the ball around a four-man wall and into the top corner - a stunning delivery to get off the mark.
Some might say that the goalkeeper could have done more (he was poorly positioned), but nevertheless it was still a wonderful way to cap a debut.
The result puts Coutinho’s team provisionally third in the league table - now they must wait to see how Al-Wakra get on against Al-Rayyan (Rodrigo Moreno has three goals in three games for Jardim’s side). Al-Rayyan are second, two points ahead of Al-Duahail and one behind Al-Sadd, who lead the QSI although having played one game more than the rest.