Al Sadd overpower Al Wakrah in shoot-out to book semis berth
Doha: Al Sadd survived a few anxious moments before edging past Al Wakrah 4-1 in the quarter-finals of the Amir Cup.
Yesterday at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium at Al Duhail Club, the teams were locked two-all at the end of full time play, forcing a penalty shoot-out.
In the tie breaker, the 15-time Amir Cup winners were on target winning the shoot-out with ease to make it to the semi-finals and will take on the winners of today’s last quarter-final between Al Duhail and Al Sailiya.
Al Sadd’s new recruit Mexican Marco Fabian put the Xavi-Hernandez-coached side in the lead in 43rd minute, before Hashem Ali scored the second goal in the 55th minute.
Al Wakrah reduced the margin with a goal from substitute Khaled Mounir and then Ismail Mahmoud managed to score the equaliser in 83rd.
Al Sadd started on a dominating note and had more of the ball possession especially in the mid field and at times threatening Al Wakrah goal.
Al Sadd’s first serious threat at the rival goal saw Mohammed Waed launch a powerful shot from the top of the penalty area which went close to the Al Wakrah goal.
A cross from Hamed Ismail in the 15th saw Ali’s shot going straight to the goalkeeper Saud Al Khater.
Thereafter, Khokhi Boualem’s shot was saved with great difficulty by the Wakrah goalkeeper.
Al Sadd then had a goal cancelled off after the referee took help from the VAR.
Al Sadd’s Hashem Ali converted a rebound of a Akram Afif penalty kick but he was pulled up for an infringement as he made his way past a rival defender to convert the loose ball.
Al Wakrah which till then had survived by a narrow skin of teeth found the mark.
Fabian succeeded in giving the lead for Al Sadd.
Afif was instrumental in creating the goal scoring opportunity, his shot hit the left post and rebounded and Fabian who was on hand scored to give Al Sadd the lead.
The teams went into the half time break with Al Sadd leading 1-0.
In the second half, Al Sadd consolidated the lead five minutes into the second session.
Ali, who had missed on a chance to get his name on the scorers list finally found the mark.
The goal was due to the combined efforts of Abdulkarim Hassan and Waed,with Ali giving finishing touches with a powerful shot that ended into the back of the nets.
Al Wakrah sustained pressure finally paid off with Mounir getting one back for his team.
Al Wakrah reducing the margin with Munir taking advantage of a defensive lapse to make the score read 2-1.
Goaded by a goal Al Wakrah pressed home for the advantage and were successful in netting the second goal of the match.
Al Wakra team pressed hard in the last minutes until Mahmoud managed to score the equaliser with seven minutes left before the final whistle as Meshal Abdullah’s cross from the left side found Ismail who darted in to shoot past a dazed Al Sadd keeper.
With the teams locked goalless in the regulation and four minutes of injury time, the tie breaker was implemented to end the impasse.
Al Arabi and surprise package Al Markhiya have already qualified for the semi-final by defeating Al Ahli 3-0 and Al Rayyan 1-0 respectively.