Wakrah, Mesaimeer enter second round
April 24 2018 12:50 AM
Al Wakrah’s Prince Ibara (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Qatar SC in the first round of HH The Emir Cup at the Suheim bin Hamad Stadium yesterday. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Al Wakrah scripted a sensational comeback to edge out Qatar Sports Club 3-2 in the first round of HH The Emir Cup match yesterday.
At the Suheim bin Hamad Stadium, Wakrah were trailing by two goals under half an hour as Patrick Luis Fabiano struck a brace to put Qatar SC’s one foot in the second round. Fabiano was in fine form as he troubled Wakrah’s with his runs inside the box.
The first goal came in the third minute with Omari’s perfect pass finding Fabiano, who slotted home with a second touch. Fabiano then made it 2-0 in the 30th minute with a header.
But Wakrah were given a lucky reprieve thanks to a own goal by Qatar SC defender Ahmed al-Abakar. But still Qatar SC were dominating the game and were a goal ahead at the half-time, with promise of more goals in the second half. But Wakrah had other ideas. Four minutes into second half, Hamad al-Hassan equalised for Wakrah, before Prince Ibara snatched a third goal and lead in the 58th minute. Despite repeated Qatar SC raids, Wakrah managed to hold on to the lead and set-up a second round clash with Al Arabi on April 28th.
In another first round match, Mesaimeer beat QNB Stars League side Al Ahli 3-1 on penalties. Both the teams had failed to score in regulation time at Suheim bin Hamad Stadium. Mesaimeer will face Al Sailiya in the next round on April 29th.
Ahmed Mubarak, Abdullah al-Hajjaji and Mohamed Faid Lamsemir found the net for Mesaimeer, while Hamza Younis was the lone scorer for Ahli.
Mesaimeer had qualified for the second phase of the championship after finishing third in the second division, while Al Ahli qualified after finishing ninth in the QNB Stars Tournament.
HH The Emir Cup is the most prestigious domestic football tournament and brings down the curtains on the nine-month long football season in Qatar. The event offers a chance for lower division teams to test their mettle against the big guns as they bid to qualify for the final at the Khalifa Stadium on May 19.
The top four teams in the QNB Stars League – Al Duhail, Al Sadd, Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa will kick off their campaigns directly from the quarter-final stage of the competition, where they will be joined by four other teams who will have to work their way up from rounds one and two.
Second division teams will seek to capture the spotlight from top-flight outfits although that usually proves a tall order as the gulf in class is far too obvious.

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