Al Duhail win Emir’s Cup, complete a treble
Al Duhail completed a grand treble by lifting the prestigious Emir’s Cup as they defeated Al Rayyan 2-1 in the final on Saturday night.
Karim Boudiaf (34th minute) and Yousef El Arabi (81st) scored for Al Duhail. Sebastian Soria gave Al Rayyan’s reply in the 69th.
Al Duhail team members proudly received the cup from His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The dignitaries included FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
In front of a huge crowd at the Khalifa International Stadium, the first 2022 FIFA World Cup venue to be completed, Al Duhail, who had won the QNB Stars League and Qatar Cup, were in good form right from the start even as Al Rayyan offered a stiff resistance.
Al Duhail, who have reached the AFC Champions League quarterfinals as well, were on attack mode, while Al Rayyan adopted a cautious approach in the first half. That The Red Knights had 63 per cent possession spoke of their domination.
Both teams missed key players as Al Duhail’s regular captain Yousef Msakni and Al Rayyan’s Abderrazaq Hamdallah are nursing injuries.
Al Duhail captain Karim Boudiaf came up with a shot inside 15 minutes that called for a save from rival goalkeeper Omar Barry. At the other end, Boudiaf’s Al Rayyan counterpart Rodrigo Tabata’s rising shot saw goalkeeper Amine Lecomte tip the ball over the bar with a flying dive.
Then came the first goal as Boudiaf had all the time after receiving a loose ball in an unmarked position and before taking an angular shot from long range that gave Barry no chance.
Soon after the restart, Al Rayyan earned a free-kick when Lucas Mendes fouled Soria and Amine saved the resultant free-kick taken by Tabata.
The Lions were now more in the game than they were in the first half, with Tabata, Soria and Mohsine Moutaouali leading the charge. One such move paid off when Soria headed in a Moutaouali cross from the right after Amine failed to get his hand on to the ball
The combination of Tabata and Soria wreaked havoc in the 76th minute, the latter spraying a low cross from the right and the former’s header from close just missing the target.
However, Al Duhail surged ahead for a second time off a counter-attack. Nam initiated the move from well inside their area and cut the ball to Ismail Mohamed whose cross from the right found El Arabi, who made no mistake when the rival defenders were out of position and Barry could not cover his angle.
In the semifinals, Al Duhail had defeated defending champions Al Sadd 1-0 as Al Rayyan overcame Al Gharafa 3-0.