السد يهزم الدحيل ويفوز بكأس قطر
Doha: Al Sadd lifted their seventh Qatar Cup trophy, trouncing Al Duhail 4-0 after a ruthless performance in the final on their home turf yesterday.
As coach Xavi said prior to the title clash that Al Sadd will go into the match with an ‘extra’ motivation, to avenge their 1-4 QNB Stars League (QSL) defeat last November, his ‘Wolves’ didn’t let him down with a clinical performance.
Al Sadd’s intentions to dominate Al Duhail – the current QSL points leaders – were obvious right from the start and they sustained the aggressive approach till the final whistle as they rejoiced their comprehensive win with fans at the packed Al Sadd Stadium.
South Korean star Nam Tae-hee put Al Sadd ahead in the fifth minute before their goal-machine Baghdad Boundejah struck a brace to give them a 3-0 lead at half-time. Asian-Player-of-the-Year Akram Afif sealed Al Duhail’s fate as Al Sadd clinched the trophy – second for Xavi as coach after their Sheikh Jassim Cup triumph last August.
Akram Afif (left) and Baghdad Boundejah celebrate a goal yesterday.
“It wasn’t an easy game but we wanted (to win) the trophy and it was great job from the team,” a jubilant Abdelkarim Hassan said after the victory.
“We were aggressive right from the start and that was our key to win. Now we will focus on giving the challenge to Al Duhail in the QSL,” he added.
Al Duhail had few moments of dominance yesterday but it was Al Sadd who held control for the best part of the decisive match to outclass the Rui Faria-coached side.
Pedro Miguel – who recently extended his Al Sadd contract until 2025 – set Nam for an early goal with a fine cross, which the South Korean converted with a brilliant header.
The home side didn’t look satisfied and pushed for another goal testing Al Duhail defense, who were left relying on the counter attacks.
With the clock reaching the quarter mark, Al Duhail got their first chance when new recruit Mario Mandzukic got the opportunity but his attempt from inside the box rebounded from an Al Sadd defender.
Soon after the move, Al Sadd almost found their second goal after a brilliance from Afif who set Boundejah for a goal but the Algerian’s push from a good position went wide off goalkeeper Lecoumet Amin.
Al Sadd coach Xavi (right) celebrates with Hassan Al Haydos.
But, Boundejah didn’t take much time to console the missed chance as he made Al Duhail pay dearly for a defensive blunder.
Al Duhail centre back Medhi Benatia intercepted a long pass and with Boundejah storming for a tackle he gave the back pass to Amin. The Al Duhail goalkeeper was returning the ball to Benatia but it was picked by Boundejah, who had just the goalkeeper to beat from inside the box for Al Sadd’s second goal in 21st minute.
With the game advancing towards the half-time, Al Duhail, seeking to reduce lead, started pushing pressure on Al Sadd with repeated attacks. Striker Almoez Ali fired a strike on target from a long range but the speed of his shot was not enough to create problem for Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, who was right behind the ball.
Al Sadd’s resolve to control the game and determination to win the ball back in key moves helped them as they found their third goal from none other than Boundejah, who fired the ball in nets from a difficult angle after a clever pass from Nam, beating goalkeeper on his left side in third minute of stoppage time (48’m).
Al Sadd showed no complacency after a 3-0 lead and got off the second session with the same pace.
Soon after the start of the second half, Hassan Al Haydos made goalkeeper Amin to dive with a shot from outside the box, which just missed the target. Al Haydos, who leads Qatar national team, was the centre of attention again two minutes later after he headed wide following a cross from Boundejah.
Soon after Faria sent defender Ahmed Yasser in to replace Youssef Msakni, Al Duhail got a golden chance when Almoez assisted new signing Han Kwang Song with a clean pass but the former Juventus forward’s attempt missed the target.
Qatar Football Association (QFA) President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani congratulating Al Sadd captain Gabi Fernandez. QFA Vice President Saud Al Mohannadi is also present.
Al Sadd continued to control the game by blocking Al Duhail’s moves and creating their own chances. One of their attacks won them a penalty-kick and their spot kick expert Afif made no mistake with a push on right as goalkeeper dived in the opposite direction, in the 71st minute.
Croatian star Mandzukic got another chance in the match with 15 minutes left but he struck right in front of Al Sheeb, who denied him a consolation goal for Al Duhail.
“It was a good performance from Al Sadd but we cannot lose out concentration after this loss,” said Ali Afif as Al Sadd celebrated with the Qatar Cup trophy, which was handed over to them by Qatar Football Association President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa in presence of QSL Chief Executive Officer Hani Ballan.
Ahead of the kick off, both the teams paid tribute to Oman’s ruler HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who passed away recently.