By Sports Reporter/Doha
A sensational hat-trick by Romarinho (Romario Ricardo da Silva) helped El Jaish bounce back from a goal down and thrash Al Ahli 4-2 in the Emir Cup quarter-finals at the Abdulla bin Khalifa Stadium here yesterday.
Al Ahli had taken an unexpected lead in the 15th minute thanks to a penalty scored by Ngombo Mubele after Mohsin Hassan al-Yazidi was brought down but after Ali Sanad al-Nuaimi equalised in first half injury time, Brazilian Romarinho produced a one-man demolishing act in a matter of six minutes to put his team in the last four of the prestigious tournament.
Romarinho’s first struck in the 52nd minute and came up with two more in the 53rd and 57th minutes as El Jaish hit a purple patch to overshadow Al Ahli.
And although Mubele scored his second goal of the match in the 82nd minute, it was too little too late for Al Ahli as they exited the tournament.
Earlier, Lekhwiya scraped into the semi-finals with an unconvincing 1-0 win over 2014 champions Al Sailiya.
Star forward Yousef Msakni spared the blushes for Djamel Belmadi’s side with an 88th minute goal that proved the lone saving grace in a match that failed to live up to expectations.
Struggling to find any rhythm, four-time Qatar Stars League champions Lekhwiya dominated possession without really driving home their superiority.
However, they could have gone ahead as early as in the 16th minute but Ismail Mohamed hit the post from close with Al Sailiya’s French goalkeeper Gregory Gomis out of position.
Gomis, one of the best custodians plying their trade in Qatar, was undoubtedly the hero for his team by pulling off some key saves and denying Lekhwiya before Msakni’s late strike off a corner put paid to his efforts.
Al Sailiya, who finished seventh in the QSL, had only 28 percent of the possession and failed to make much headway up front although they defended stoutly to prevent Lekhwiya from running away with the match.
Lekhwiya’s inability to score from good chances continued to haunt them throughout the match much to coach Belmadi’s frustration.
Belmadi had expressed his strong desire to add the Emir Cup to his list of achievements in Qatar, and short of ripping off his hair he did everything to suggest that he was not enjoying watching his players miss chance after chance.
In the 59th minute Mohamed Moosa headed wide from close and in the 72nd Chico Flores missed the target with an attempt of his own.
In between goalkeeper Gomis also came up with a couple of saves, including one off a powerful shot from Alain Dioko.
The match appeared headed into extra time before Msakni turned in a pass from Ismail Mohamed off a corner much to Belmadi’s relief.
“It was a tough match but we should have won convincingly,” Belmadi said. “We kept on missing chances and that bogged down the team,” he added.
“In the end though a 1-0 victory is something we will take. We need to play much better in the semi-finals.”
Al Sailiya coach Sami Trablesi was clearly disappointed with the defeat.
“Lekhwiya are a team who have achieved much but we did very well to keep them at bay for most of the match before the goal was scored,” said Trablesi.
“The Emir Cup is a tournament that offers even lesser teams a chance to win the title. We did that two years ago but this time we were unlucky,” he added. In the semi-finals on May 13, El Jaish will face Lekhwiya, while Al Rayyan play Al Sadd
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