Doha, - Al Sadd held on to secure a narrow 3-2 win over rivals Al Rayyan to secure their place in the 2017 Qatar Cup final. The Wolves raced into a three goal lead after just twenty two minutes, however the game turned on the hour mark when Sadd midfielder Sami Kasola was sent off for a second yellow card. Sergio Garcia scored a spectacular goal to set up a grand-stand finish, however Al Sadd held out to secure their place in the April 29 final.
With the first attack of the game Al Sadd opened the scoring. A cross from left back Abdulkarim Hassan found Jugurtha Hamroun who unleashed a drilled right footed shot which snuck into the bottom right hand of the goal, getting the the better of Al Rayyan keeper Omar Barry. The Wolves had their early goal.
Shocked into action, Al Rayyan began to dominate the ball and placed their opponents under presser. With four minutes on the clock, Musab Kheder's well placed cross found Rodrigo Tabata, but his snap header flew over the bar. Tabata again saw a headed effort loop wide on the seventh minute as Michael Laudrup's side attempted to find parity.
On the twenty minute mark Al Sadd doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Lions defender Victor Caceres was to adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, leaving referee Abdulraham Al Jassim little choice but to point to the spot. Hassan Haydoos stepped up for his side and slotted the ball into the left hand for his side second goal of the match.
Two minutes Sadd were in dreamland,as they raced into a three goal lead. A cross from Abdulkarim Hassan was mishandled by Omar Barry in the Rayyan goal, the ball fell to Hassan Haydoos who picked out team mate Jugurtha Hamroun who was left with the simplest of finishes for Sadd's third goal of the match.
Al Rayyan again attemped to find their way back into the tie after conceding three goals in the space of twenty two minutes. Michael Laudrup's side could of easily pulled a goal back had Sergio Garcia's half volley not rattled the crossbar. Whilst on the stroke of half-time Musab Kheder saw hit effort scamper just wide of the Al sadd post. Al Sadd headed into the break with a comfortable three goal lead.
The Lions kicked into life from the very start of the second half, with Paraguayan international V?ctor C?ceres heading just wide seconds after the restart. Moments later, Sergio Garcia also had a oppurtunity to pull a goal back however his effort skimmed just wide of the left hand post.
Rayyan eventually made their possession count on the 53rd minute when midfielder Koh Myong-jin tapped in to made the the score 3-1. A low cross from Rodrigo Tabata evaded the Al Sadd defence leaving Koh to score from close range.
Just on the hour mark, the tie swung in favour of Al Rayyan after Sadd midfielder Sami Kasola picked up his second yellow of the game after a rash challenge in the centre of the park. With the extra man, Al Rayyan pushed hard eventually finding their second goal in spectacular fashion.
With 73 minutes on the clock Spanish attacker Sergio Garcia unleashed a fine curling shot from just outside the box which sailed into the top right-hand corner. Al Rayyan had twenty minutes to find a equaliser, game on.
Michael Laudrup's men streamed forward looking for a goal which would take the tie to penalties. On the 77th minute Rayyan's talismatic captain Rodrigo Tabata had the goal at his mercy but his shot on the turn flew well over. Whilst five minutes from full time Al Rayyan came inches from a all important equalizer. A cross fell to substitute Ahmed Alaaeldin, but Rayyan's number seven saw his header hit off the post.
Al Sadd will now play the winner of tomorrow's second Qatar Cup semi-final between QSL champions Lekhwiya and current Qatar Cup holders El Jaish, in the showpiece Qatar Cup final which is set to take place on Saturday the 29th of April at Al Sadd stadium. (QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency