By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Kharaitiyat will be eyeing an ‘upset’ win against Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions Al Rayyan today when the two sides clash in the Emir Cup quarter-finals.
Al Kharaitiyat coach Amar Osim said at his press conference ahead of the match: “This is a different game. I hope my players rise to the challenge and do well.” He added: “Everyone saw how well Al Rayyan played in the QSL season. We will try to play our best football and I hope my players deliver the goods and show great spirit.
“I think we played well in the previous round when we beat Al Arabi.
“We have been fairly competitive this event. Al Rayyan will come with full force but my players are motivated since this is the biggest football event in Qatar. If we play with heart and spirit, we can do anything,” he said.
Al Rayyan coach Jorge Fossati, who is having a tough time since winning the league, hoped his players will respond well to the challenge after missing out on the Qatar Cup.
“We must start aggressively and continue in the same fashion. This is a huge event. We need a strong performance all the way. We did really well in QSL but this is another event and we need to play with same intensity,” said the Uruguayan.
He was under no illusions about Al Kharaitiyat’s ability to cause an upset. “I hope we can pull this off and move on. Al Kharaitiyat are a dangerous side with good players,” Fossati said.
“But we beat them twice in QSL. I have to say those were difficult wins. We respect them as a side. They have done well.
“We need to focus on our game and look what we need to do. This is not the time to talk about certain losses (like in Qatar Cup last week).
“We will make a final assessment when the season ends, not now,” he said. “This is not the time to talk about my contract with Al Rayyan,” he said.
Al Gharafa, meanwhile, are aware of the challenge that awaits them today when they take on former champions Al Sadd in the second quarter-final.
Al Gharafa coach Pedro Caixinha said: “We respect our opponents. It will be a tough challenge for us. But my team can get a good result.” He added: “Al Sadd have a great team and outstanding players like Xavi in their ranks. We will try not to give them chances to create goal-scoring opportunities.” Caixinha said Al Gharafa must rise to the challenge.
“The time has come to win big matches,” Caixinha said. “We have our own way of playing and we must beat Al Sadd to reach semi-finals.
“The Al Gharafa fans are with us and we must do well for them,” Caixinha said.
Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who has gone winless this season, is hoping to finish with some silverware. “This is an important stage of the tournament. We have the desire to win. We need the right kind focus and I believe my players are ready,” he said.
He added: “Every game is different and every game needs different handling. We will be treating this game as the final.” “Let the best team win.”
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