Sports Monks

Al Sadd rally to down Al Duhail 4-1 to reach Amir Cup final

DOHA: Al Sadd came back from a goal down to outplay Al Duhail 4-1 and reach their 26th Amir Cup final at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium on Saturday.

It was a game of two halves yesterday with Al Duhail dominating the first, only to be outplayed by Al Sadd in the second. Edmilson had put Al Duhail ahead in the 10th minute after an error from Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barshem.

Al Duhail, after a disciplined defensive show in the first half, completely lost the plot in the second. After Ramin Rezaeian’s goal was ruled out for handball, Boualem Khouki equalised for Al Sadd with a wonderful header in the 58th minute.

Guilherme Santos Torres put Al Sadd ahead in the 64th minute.

Baghdad Bounedjah, playing as a lone striker upfront, netted Al Sadd’s third goal in the 77th minute, dribbling into the box and scoring with a low shot that went past two Al Duhail defenders and their keeper.

In the 88th minute, substitute Rodrigo Tabata made it 4-1 with a shot from near the halfway line, with Abubakar having advanced outside the penalty box. Duhail would end the game with nine men after Dudu and Ali Afif were sent off in stoppage time.

Rodrigo Tabata then completed Al Duhail’s misery in the 88th minute with a strike from the half-line after goalkeeper Khalifa Abubakar was way off the goalpost.

It was sweet revenge for Al Sadd, who had lost to Al Duhail by a similar margin in the final of last year’s edition.

That defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for Xavi Hernandez, who was playing his final game in an Al Sadd jersey in Qatar at the inauguration of Al Janoub Stadium. But since then Xavi in his capacity as coach has ensured that Al Sadd won all their four matches against Al Duhail.

The result sets Al Sadd up for a traditional Amir Cup final against Al Arabi, the two Doha rivals have not met in Amir Cup final since 1994.

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