Clinical Jaish survive late Sadd fightback to progress
April 25 2016 11:04 PM
El Jaish striker Abderrazzaq Hamdallah celebrates after scoring against Al Sadd during their Qatar Cup match yesterday. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil

By Sports Reporter/Doha

El Jaish booked their spot in the Qatar Cup Final on the 29th of April with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Sadd yesterday. An own goal from Bagdad Bounjah, a fine strike from Romarinho and a penalty from Abderrazak Hamdallah  was enough for Sabri Lamouchi’s side, despite Al Sadd grabbing two goals back thorugh Hassan Haydoos & Morteza Pouraliganji to set up a grandstand finish.  

Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira.

Al Sadd looked the better side in the early exchanges and could of taken an early lead, had Abdelkarim Hassan’s shot not drawn a good save from Jaish keeper Khalifah Ababacar.
Despite Sadd’s dominance, it was El Jaish who took the lead in fortuitous circumstances on the 32nd minute. A Sardor Rashidov corner was scrappily bundled into the net by Sadd striker Bagdad Bounjah, much to the anguish of the Algerian striker.
Sadd sprung back into life and wasted no time and two minutes later restored parity. Qatari International captain Hassan Haydoos fine right wing run and cross-come shot was tipped in by Khalifa Abacar, to give Sadd a deserved equalizer based on the balance of play.
The final ten minutes opened up for Al Sadd and could have gone into the first half break in the lead. Young wingback Musab Keder found himself twice in threatening positions in the Jaish penalty box. Had the youngster had more composure he wouldn’t have fluffed his lines when it mattered. The tie went in at the first half honors even 1-1.
In the second half Jaish came out with plenty of conviction and took the lead after fantastic build up between Hamdullah and Romarinho. The Moroccan striker traded passes with his team-mate, and put through a fine through ball. Romarinho had time and space to slot into the bottom right hand corner to give Jaish a 2-1 lead.
Al Sadd scrambled to find an equaliser in the game and might of found parity had Ibrahim Majid’s header found the back of the net on the 65th minute after a smart ball from captain Xavi.
The attacking trio of Romarinho, Rashidov and Hamdullah look set to take Sadd on the break. The trio came together in devastating effect to tilt the tie in Jaish’s favour. A quick passing move between the three of them resulted in Hamduallah being bundled down in the box. The referee rightly pointed to the penalty spot. Hamdullah brushed himself off and scored with a fine Paneka penalty for his 22nd goal of the season.

Sadd striker Khalfan Ibrahim reacts after his team’s loss yesterday.

Sadd grabbed a lifeline in the 88th minute to set up a grandstand finish. A pinpoint accurate Xavi freekick was headed in from Morteza Pouraliganji. Sadd where emboldened and pushed hard for an equalizer and for penalties. However the Jaish backline remained resolute and held out for the win. It means that two rivals in El Jaish and Lekhwiya will face off on Friday the 29th of April at Al Sadd stadium for the third consecutive season.

The team was pumped to get a big result, and we delivered: Lekhwiya’s Muntari
QSL online caught up with Lekhwiya striker Mohammed Muntari after his sides impressive 3-1 victory over Al Rayyan in the Qatar cup semi-finals to get his thoughts on the game.
Muntari grabbed one of the goals in the win, and had plenty to say about his side. “I feel great not for my goal, but for the team. We came into this game with a good mentality, we didn’t do well in the league and we were playing the champions (Al Rayyan) we just had one objective to get to the Qatar Cup final.”
Muntari’s goal and Lekhwiya’s second on the night effectively ended the contest for Al Rayyan who stormed the to the QSL title this season.
Speaking about his celebration, Muntari was clear that revenge was on Lekhwiya’s mind. “Before the game we faced much criticism, especially when we lost 5-0 to Al Rayyan. The team was pumped to get a big result, and we delivered. That was shown in my celebration.”
With talk turning to the final on the 29th of April at Al Sadd stadium, KO 19:15 and the Qatari international does have a preference who he will play in the showpiece final. “Both teams El Jaish and Al Sadd are great, they have done well in the league even though they are not the champions. Personally for me I would like to face my former team, El Jaish.”

Lekhwiya put more efforts to win: Belmadi
Lekhwiya progressed to the final of the Qatar Cup on the 29th of April at Al Sadd with a convincing 3-1 over QSL champions this evening. The two coaches of the sides revealed their thoughts to the media in a post-match press conference.   
Understandably, Lekhwiya’s head coach Djamel Belmadi was in bullish mood, following his side’s victory. The Algerian stressed that his side was focused only on winning the game and progressing to the final.
“The match was close with not many spaces to play especially during the first half, but Lekhwiya put more efforts during the second half to seal the win” noted Belmadi.
Belmadi concluded his press conference stressing his pride in his team, who executed their game plan this evening.  “The aim wasn’t only overcoming Al Rayyan, but also to defend our title. We have achieved our first mission and now we prepare for the final game.”
As for Al Rayyan coach Jorge Fossati, he credited his opponent for the win, but rued the defensive errors made by Al Rayyan. “I won’t tolerate defensive errors like that in my side, despite this I feel that we played well at times and that we were stopped by a strong Lekhwiya defence.”
The Uruguayan tactician also credited Lekhwiya for the victory; “Lekhwiya deserved to win the game, they took full advantage of our defensive confusion in the second half.”
Fossati concluded his conference by saying that the club must move on from this defeat. “We will now focus on the Emir Cup and start training and preparing for these important games. Rayyan will now double their efforts to win this cup, and give something back to the fans.”
Lekhiwya will now move to the Qatar Cup final on the 29th of April, at Al Sadd stadium KO at 19:15.

El Jaish coach Sabri Lamouchi reacts during the match yesterday.

Host of sponsors for Qatar Cup 2016
With the Qatar Cup set for kick-off this evening, The QSL has confirmed a host of sponsors ahead of the top 4 competition.
Toyota also reaffirmed their commitment to the Qatar Cup competition for another year, as the official vehicle partner for the competition. Speaking on working with the Qatar Cup for another year Dr Nasser, Abdulghani Al Abdulghani Managing Director, AAB Said: “AAB has been supporting Football in Qatar for many years and on the occasion of Qatar Cup we would like to extend our sincere thanks to our beloved rulers and to the members of QSL Committee for giving us an opportunity to sponsor this prestigious event and I wish the event all success.”
Whilst Al Kass have been confirmed as the official broadcaster for the tournament, Al Kass will be extensively covering all matches in the Qatar Cup Tournament, continuing the ongoing relationship with the QSL.
Ooredoo  will be the Official Telecom Partner of the Qatar Cup 2016, and speaking at the signing  of the agreement on Wednesday morning  Fatima Sultan Al Kuwari, Director, Community and Public Relations of Ooredoo Qatar said “Ooredoo continues to develop ‘smart stadium’ solutions that will support Qatar’s sporting ambitions. We’re happy to be supporting the Qatar Cup, as it inspires people to join in the spirit of football.”   
Zoom Arts & Design have been named as the official events delivery partner for the Qatar Cup. The Doha based company have given assistance in all event elements for the Qatar Cup 2016, including work on the half time shows, sports presentation and the Qatar Cup trophy tour.   
Woqod signed an agreement as Official Fuel Business partner for the 2016 Qatar Cup.  Speaking at the signing of the agreement, Sheikha Sara bint Nasser al-Thani- head of PR & Communication at Woqod said: “Woqod is proud to be associated with this competition, and being a part of developing football in Qatar. Woqod will be selling tickets for the Qatar Cup at selected locations.”
Sout Al Khaleej has renewed its commitment to the Qatar Cup for another season as the official media partner for the competition. The Arabic radio station will be broadcasting live match commentary of the competition, along with dedicated programming on the Qatar Cup 2016.   
The official Charity for the Qatar Cup 2016 is Qatar Charity, The QSL is delighted to continue it’s working relationship with Qatar Charity.   
Al Jaber Watches signed a deal as the official provider for the man of the match award and referees gifts for the Qatar Cup 2016. Speaking at the signing of the agreement, managing partner of Al Jaber watches Mohamed Yousef al-Jaber said. “I want to thank the QSL for this fantastic opportunity to sponsor the Qatar Cup competition.”    
Blue Salon Qatar is the presenting partner for all half time activations for the Qatar Cup 2016, along with a contribution of prizes for the raffle in the final and semifinal.  Finally Speed Marine will be providing quad bikes, jet skis and vouchers which will be used in the raffle for this 2016 Qatar Cup.

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