Doha: Defending champions Al Duhail yesterday overpowered Al Sailiya 3-0 in the second semi-final of Amir Cup at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, setting up a mouth-watering title clash with arch-rivals Al Sadd.
It will be a historic Amir Cup final as the newly-constructed Al Wakrah Stadium – one of the 8 venues for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup – will stage the decisive game on May 16.
Both Al Sadd – the reigning QNB Stars League champions, and Al Duhail – the defending Amir Cup champions – are unarguably the top two teams in the country currently, making up a fitting finale at the new 40,000 capacity venue, which is expected to be a packed house on it’s inaugural day.
While Al Sadd defeated Al Rayyan 2-0 after a dominating display on Saturday, Rui Faria’s Al Duhail also showed a lot of prowess yesterday to topple an in-form Al Sailiya.
Mohammed Muntari was the star for Al Duhail yesterday by scoring a brace while Paulo Dasilve Edmilson was the other scorer.
Seeking a place in the all-important final, Al Duhail adopted an aggressive strategy right from the start and never let Al Sailiya settle in the game.
Signalling what to come for Al Sailiya, Muntari hit the first short on target early to be blocked by goal-keeper Saoud Mubarak.
Just few minutes later, the Qatari star found the target after Bassam Husham won a free kick in 8th minute. Bassam’s kick took a deflection by a defence wall and Muntari found himself in the right spot to score opener for the defending champions from a close range.
Al Duhail continued to put pressure on Al Sailiya with repeated attacks until Al Sailiya came close to scoring on a 16th minute corner, when Mauricio Donizeti’s diving effort just missed the target. The exchange of attacks continued with Al Duhail earning a corner in the 26th minute. Al Sailiya was lucky to avoid the damage as Asian Cup star Moaaz Abdalla’s header just missed the right post.
Moaaz then showed why is rated as an international supertar of the future by crafting a fine attack in the 28th minute. He carried the ball from the half-line and defeated a couple of defenders to hand a gift to Edmilson, who didn’t hesistate to score from near the penalty spot to double the lead for Al Duhail.
Rui Faria’s men continued to dominate their opponents for rest of the first half with several more attacks, while on the other hand, Al Sailiya could just earn a corner.
The Red Knights came close to scoring their third goal with Moaaz again creating a chance by giving a golden opportunity to Nakajima Shoya but his lofty kick was well blocked by Mubarak.
Starting the final session with a 2-0 lead, Al Duhail continued with their aggressive display, denying much of a ball possession to Al Sailiya. However, Sami Trabelsi’s side was close to score in the 63rd minute but Abdulqadir Ilyas missed the opportunity, firing the ball outside the right post.
Just when Al Sailiya started to realise they can score, Al Duhail tripled the lead through Muntari, who scored his second goal on a brilliant square pass from the left in the 67th minute.
Al Duhail carried on with the same approach with Al Sailiya posing little threat to their strong lead till referee blew the final whistle.