Al Sadd, Al Sailiya set for Emir Cup final
Doha: Al Sadd, buoyed by their qualification for the quarter-finals stage of the AFC Champions League, will be eyeing their first silverware of the 2013-14 season as they take on minnows Al Sailiya in the final of the Emir Cup at the Khalifa International Stadium today.
Doha giants Al Sadd qualified for the last eight stage of the AFC Champions League on away goals after a thrilling 2-2 draw with Iranian champions Foolad Khouzestan three days ago.
Looking back at the performance this season, Amouta, who guided Al Sadd to the QSL title last season, said a place in the last eight of the AFC Champions League was a huge morale booster for the team ahead of the Emir Cup and for the next season.
“Yes, we did not win anything in the local competitions, so qualifying for the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League was a good thing to happen and a huge relief for lot of us at the club. The qualification will raise the confidence level of the players,” the 44-year-old said.
Al Sadd is the only Qatar Stars League (QSL) side which has made it to the last eight stage of the AFC Champions League. QSL clubs Al Rayyan, Lekhwiya and El Jaish failed to make past the group stage.
When asked about his future at the club, Amouta said: “I am working on building a team for the next season. I have named a few players and they are likely to join us in the next season.”
Al Sailiya, who finished fourth in the QSL, are hoping to carry forward their roller-coaster form into the final of the season-ending championship.
“At the start of the football season, we were underdogs, but we finished fourth which was quite a performance. Now we are in the Emir Cup final, hopefully, we will go all the way and win it,” Al Sailiya’s Tunisian coach Sami Trabelsi said.
For Al Sailiya this is their first Emir Cup final and the fact they will playing in their maiden final will motivate the players, Trabelsi said.
“Al Sadd has experienced players and have played in finals before of the Emir Cup. For my team this is the first time we are in the final,” Trabelsi said.
Today’s finalists took contrasting routes to the final.
In the semi-finals, Al Sailiya defeated Al Ahli 3-0 in a penalty shoot-out, after sharing four goals at the end of full-time play. On the other hand, Doha giants Al Sadd were lucky to edge Al Gharafa