Lekhwiya, El Jaish collide for Qatar Cup
Doha: El Jaish will be looking for a repeat of their 2014 Qatar Cup success when they lifted the crown when they take on Lekhwiya in the showpiece final here today at Al Sadd Stadium.
In a repeat of last year’s final Lekhwiya will defend their title while El Jaish will be looking for revenge.
Both sides have battled through long strenuous domestic seasons to meet with a chance to lift some silverware in the today’s final.
El Jaish have been one of the most consistent sides in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) this season.
Sabri Lamouchi’s side has upheld their envious record of appearing in every Qatar Cup final since the tournament was rebranded three years ago.
El Jaish defeated Al Sadd in a closely fought semifinal by three goals to two to make it to the title clash.
Lekhwiya have endured a tough domestic campaign relinquishing their QSL title to runaway champions Al Rayyan. However, Djamel Belmadi has excelled in the cup competitions and Lekhwiya can now harbour genuine hopes of a domestic double starting with the Qatar Cup final.
In January, Lekhwiya won the Sheikh Jassim Cup with a 4-1 win over Al Sadd.
They put on a tactical masterclass in their 3-1 victory against Al Rayyan, a side who they lost to on both occasions during the QSL season. Belmadi set out a defensive side, with one recognized striker. However Lekhwiya where masterful on the break, putting the current QSL champions to the sword with three goals of superior quality, before Al Rayyan grabbed a consolation.
Lekhwiyawon the Qatar Cup last time around and will be hoping to end their season with a trophy.
Belmadi, coach of Lekhwiya wants his team to keep carrying on the winning mentality, “It’s a final and each final should be played to win and in the semifinal we played very well. I want the players to play with the same attitude.”
Speaking about the vast range of attacking options he has at his disposal, Belmadi added: “It’s a nice problem I wish I had this more in the season. Youssef Msakni, Karim Boudiaf and Mohammed Muntari, who is on fire. More importantly in AFC Champions League we don’t concede many goals and against Rayyan we conceded only one. We want to play and we want to win everything that we can.”