Reigning champions Al Sadd were too good for the second division side Muaither as they romped to a 7-0 win in the last 16 match of the Amir Cup Tuesday. At the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, head coach Xavi Hernandez rested many of the regulars but still there was too much quality in the Al Sadd bench strength for Muaither to cope with.
Hashem Ali and Youssef Abdel Razaq netted a brace each, while Boualem Khoukhi, Mohamed Waad and Akram Afif scored a goal apiece. In the quarter-finals, Al Sadd face Al Gharafa, who edged out Al Shahaniya via penalties Tuesday.
Hashem Ali opened the scoring in the 10th minute after being set up by Afif from the left side. He doubled the lead in the 30th minute, with once again Afif being the provider. While Al Sadd had many chances to score they couldn’t deliver in the final third as they went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
However, goals rained in the second half as a ruthless Al Sadd team showed the huge gap between both the sides. Khoukhi made it 3-0 in the 64th minute with a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area. Two minutes later Substitute Muhammad Waad found the net after taking advantage of a Hashem Ali’s pass.
The fifth goal came via Razzaq after a wonderful exchange of the ball between Afif and Tabata. Afif, who was a livewire throughout the match, found the net in the 83rd before Razzaq scored his second in the 90th to complete Muaither’s miserable night.
Al Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez was delighted with his side’s comprehensive victory. “We played a good match against Muaither and continued the trend of winning by huge margins. The young players put on an impressive show. Bahaa al-Laithi, Hashem Ali and Youssef Abdel Razzaq were also good, Ali Asad and Salem al-Hajri also put in a good performance,” the Spaniard said.
Saad al-Sheeb played ahead of Meshaal Barsham against Muaither and Xavi was pleased with the goalkeeper’s show. Xavi pointed out that Al Sadd is an offensive team are focusing on being that in future matches.
On face Al Gharafa in the quarter-finals, Xavi said: “The Al Gharafa match in the quarter-finals will be like a final. They are one of the three best teams in the QNB Star’s League. They have good players and it will be a difficult match for us. We must prepare well before facing them. Our aim is to qualify for the final once again.”
Al Rayyan's Yohan Boli celebrates after scoring against Al Markhiya. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
Earlier, Al Rayyan entered the after defeating Al Markhiya 1-0 thanks to Yohan Boli goal just before half time at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium. While Rayyan found it hard against the second divison side, it was a sweet revenge for them after having been knocked out by Markhiya in the quarter-finals last year.
In another match, Al Shahaniya came back from a two-goal deficit before going down to Al Gharafa in the penalties at the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium.
Moayad Hassan put Al Gharafa ahead in the 23rd minute before Jonathan Kodjia doubled the lead just ahead of halftime. But second division side Al Shahania fought back with two goals in the last ten minutes of the game, both scored by Ibrahima Gaye. The strike first converted a penalty in the 83rd minute before striking a stunning volley in the 90th minute to level the score and send the game to penalties. But unfortunately for Shahania, two missed penalties cost them a place in the quarter-finals.