Al Sailiya beat Al Rayyan to clinch Ooredoo Cup
March 26 2021 09:59 PM
Al Sailiya players and support staff celebrate with the Ooredoo Cup trophy after defeating Al Rayyan
Al Sailiya players and support staff celebrate with the Ooredoo Cup trophy after defeating Al Rayyan in the final at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Al Sailiya beat Al Rayyan 2-0 in the final to win the Ooredoo Cup at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Friday.

Serigne Mbodji put Al Sailiya ahead at the stroke of half time and substitute Mohanad Ali completed an impressive victory for The Peregrines with a strike in the 90th minute.

Sailiya had reached the final after winning an appeal over an ineligible player against Al Wakrah, to whom they lost 0-3 in the first semifinal. The result was reversed by the Disciplinary Committee of Qatar Football Association.

Friday, Sailiya grabbed the opportunity with both hands, putting an impressive show against pre-match favourites Rayyan. “We played to win. Our ambitions were high before the final and that culminated in our victory,” an ecstatic coach Sami Trabelsi said after Al Sailiya lifted their maiden trophy.

“Players showed a very good level against Al Rayyan and I am very happy. After this historic victory, we aim to win more events in the future,” he added.

Goal-scorer Mohanad said: “We are very happy with this win. It is a memorable win for Al Sailiya and we would like to dedicate this victory to all our fans.”

As expected, it was a fast start to the final, with Al Rayyan making first surge into the opposition area after Ali Ferydoon won a free-kick near the box, but the danger was averted by Al Sailiya in the fourth minute.

Al Sailiya, who started the final brightly, launched their first attack in the 10th minute when Tiago Bezerra curled a cross to Rami Fayez, but he headed the ball wide from a difficult position. Five minutes later, Bezerra was involved in another attack, but Fahad Younis’ goal did not come under much threat.

Sailiya started to play attacking football to put pressure on Al Rayyan. The Lions, however, did not let Al Sailiya take full control of the game by keeping the ball possession and looking to creating their own opportunities.

Just before the half-hour mark, Franck Kom gave Al Sailiya first scare with a rocket from the edge of the box, but keeper Claude Amine did well to thwart the danger.

Just before half-time, Al Sailiya won a free-kick 25 yards outside the box. Nadir Belhadj, taking the kick, spotted Senegalese Mbodji, who evaded his marker inside the box to set himself up for a spectacular header from a difficult angle. Al Rayyan keeper Fahad had no chance to reach the ball, which landed in his opposite corner despite making a flying attempt.

Tiago could have doubled the lead for Al Sailiya, four minutes after the start of second half, but he took a shot in haste, wasting a good opportunity. Al Rayyan, needing a fightback, were struggling to take control of the proceedings against a charged-up Al Sailiya.

However, Al Rayyan, after the hour mark, made some good attacks. Their best chance came when Abdulrahman Al Harazi lofted the ball towards Ali Ferydoon, who headed on target from close range, but Amine made a superb save to keep Al Sailiya’s lead intact.

In the 72nd minute, Al Rayyan coach Laurent Blanc called in Al Korbi while replacing Ahmed Abdelmaqsoud. With 15 minutes left in the game, Al Rayyan captain Yacine Brahimi made his first attempt, but his hit was well-blocked by Amine.

The last few minutes saw Al Rayyan make desperate attempts for an equaliser, but Al Sailiya put up solid defending to maintain their lead.

Just when the match was about to enter stoppage time, Mohanad Ali, in a counter-attack, sneaked towards the Al Rayyan goal without much resistance and put the ball past the goalkeeper with a clinical hit from the edge of the box to seal victory for Al Sailiya, who celebrated their triumph in style.

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