Al Arabi beat Al Wakrah to reach Ooredoo Cup semifinals


Al Arabi stormed into the semifinals of 2019-20 Ooredoo Cup by beating Al Wakrah 1-0 in the first quarterfinal at the Al Arabi Stadium on Thursday.

Pierre-Michelle Lasogga scored the only goal of the match in the fourth minute.

If it was Al Wakrah who had more possession in the first half, it was Al Arabi who created more chances.

Lasogga, who found the net after being set up by Morteza Mohammed with a header, led Al Arabi’s charge as Mohammed Salal El Neel, who has not recovered fully from an injury, was replaced in the 11th minute by Yousef Abdurizag.

Yousef then made back-to-back attempts besides testing goalkeeper Hassan Idriss with a long-range shot.

Mohamed Benyettou spearheaded Al Wakrah’s challenge even as injured forward Christian Ceballos continued to sit in the stands.

Iliass Bel Hassani pulled the strings from the midfield, while Benyettou and Omar Ali made attempts for an equaliser.

In the second half, Al Wakrah pressed hard for a goal in the face of exit from the tournament. However, that never came as The Dream Team hung on to the slender lead, thanks also to their goalkeeper Mahmoud Ibrahim.

Even some last-ditch efforts did not help the Blue Wave either.

Al Arabi had advanced to the knockout round after finishing third in Group B with seven points, behind Al Khor (13 points) and Qatar SC (10 points).

Al Gharafa were the other side from Group B to reach the quarterfinals.

Al Wakrah had progressed to the knockout quarterfinals after finishing runners-up in Group A with eight points, four less than toppers Al Ahli.

Al Sadd and Al Rayyan were the other teams from Group A that advanced to the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, both Al Wakrah and Al Arabi had reached the Amir Cup quarterfinals last week by beating Al Shahania and Al Khor respectively on penalties.