Akram Afif’s 46th-minute strike proved decisive as Al Sadd edged out arch-rivals Al Duhail 1-0 to secure a place in the Amir Cup final. In Saturday’s semi-final at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Duhail dominated the first half but paid the price for Philippe Coutinho’s missed penalty.
Just seconds into the second half, star striker Afif scored the match’s only goal with a swift counterattack. Despite several attempts to equalise, Al Duhail could not capitalize on their chances, with the missed penalty looming large. Al Sadd maintained a disciplined and effective strategy, preserving their lead until the final whistle.
This victory marks Al Sadd’s 29th appearance in the Amir Cup final, underscoring their dominance in the competition, where they have won the title 18 times. Al Sadd will face the winner of today’s other semi-final between Al Gharafa and Qatar SC.
Striker Baghdad Bounedjah, who will leave Al Sadd at the end of the season after more than eight years with the club, reflected on his tenure: “I am very thankful to the fans for their support over the years. I have great memories with Al Sadd, and now I am looking to leave the club by lifting the Amir Cup.”
The Algerian forward added: “We are delighted to reach the final after a tough match, and now we will focus on winning the final.”
Gharafa face Qatar SC
Meanwhile, Al Gharafa and Qatar SC will lock horns today in second semi-final at the Al Janoub Stadium. Gharafa coach Pedro Martins is confident about his team’s chances and believes that this is a crucial opportunity for the club to claim a title.
“We are aiming to reach the final, and I am very confident about it. Al Gharafa deserves titles, and this is our last chance to lift the trophy, so we must seize the opportunity,” Martins stated.
He acknowledged the strength of their opponents, adding, “Qatar SC has done well to reach the semi-final, and I expect a tough fight from them.”
Qatar SC Coach Youssef al-Noubi, on the other hand, is also optimistic and has prepared his team thoroughly for the challenging match. “Al Gharafa will be very difficult in the semi-final, but our ambition is to reach the final,” he remarked.
Al-Noubi emphasised the team’s positive mindset following their quarter-final victory, saying: “Our confidence is high after the win in the quarter-final, and we have prepared well. The players are very motivated and ready to give their best against Al Gharafa.”
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