Sports Monks

Al Arabi look to end 23-year wait for silverware in the Ooredoo Cup final against Al Sadd

Al Arabi will look to end a 23-year wait for a title when they take on Al Sadd in the 2019-20 Ooredoo Cup final at the Al Duhail Stadium on Saturday at 18:00.

“The Ooredoo Cup final is an important milestone for us as it has been almost 23 years back when Al Arabi won a trophy. It is also a good opportunity for us to turn things around. We need to win this trophy,” said coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, a former coach of Iceland national team which featured in the last World Cup Russia 2018.

Both teams are missing players on account of national duty, with Al Arabi players called up for national duty with Qatar and Iceland.

The same is the situation in the rival camp with Al Sadd set to miss 13 players on account of national duty as Qatar national team are away in Turkey, set to take on African giants Ghana in a friendly on Monday October 12.

Al Sadd coach Xavi is confident that he has enough bench strengthen to carry the fight into the rival camp.

Xavi Hernandez

“We are very happy to be playing in this final. To be honest, I did not expect that we would qualify for this game. We have to play with a group of players who are not on national team duty,” the Barcelona great said

“At Al Sadd, all matches are important. Final is for winning, not for playing! We have enough players. Hopefully, fans will have a very good game. We are here to win. We are Al Sadd, we must be winning,” he added.

Both teams took routes to reaching the knockout quarterfinals from the group stage.

Al Arabi progressed to the knockout quarterfinals as the third team from Group B with seven points, after Al Khor (13 points) and Qatar SC (10 points).

Al Sadd made the cut for the quarterfinals as the third team from Group A with seven points, after Al Ahli (12 points) and Al Wakrah (eight points).

In the semifinals, Al Arabi edged Al Rayyan 2-1 and Al Sadd beat Al Ahli 2-0.

Al Arabi fought back from being a goal down through Al Rayyan’s Abdulrahman Al Harazi, with The Dream Team scoring through Abdulaziz Al Ansari and Hamdi Harbaoui.

In the Al Ahli vs Al Sadd semifinal, Santi Cazorla and substitute Akram Afif scored the goals for The Wolves.

Al Arabi qualified for the semifinals by defeating Al Wakrah 1-0, while Al Sadd progressed to the last four by edging Qatar SC 5-4 on penalties after the regular time ended in a 1-1 draw.

On the competition front, both Al Arabi and Al Sadd are all set to give off their best on the pitch. It is also a great opportunity for them to better prepare their players ahead of the tough times ahead in the ongoing 2020-21 season. Al Arabi and Al Sadd have outstanding players in their ranks, be it overseas or Qatari professionals. They both have also been encouraging youngsters to come up the ranks.

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