Al Sadd beat Al Rayyan, to face Al Duhail in 2020 Qatar Cup final


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Al Sadd defeated Al Rayyan 4-1 in the second semifinal of 2020 Qatar Cup at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.

In the final of sixth edition of the Qatar Cup scheduled for 17th January at the Al Sadd Stadium, Al Sadd will face Al Duhail, who had beaten Al Sailiya 2-0 in the first semifinal on Friday.

Boulaem Khoukhi (38th minute), Akram Afif (42nd minute) and Salem Al Hajri (54th minute) scored for Al Sadd, who were also helped by an own goal by Al Rayyan defender Gabriel Mercado in the 68th minute.

Mowafak Awad had given Al Rayyan the lead in the 15th minute, but Al Sadd managed to make a brilliant comeback in the thriller played in front of a large crowd.

Al Sadd had a goal disallowed through VAR in the 18th minute when Baghdad Bounedjah put home a rebound off the left upright after Hassan Al Haydous struck his shot against it off a through pass from Akram.

Al Sadd had much more of the ball in the first session and extended their domination in the second half.

Al Rayyan went up as Mowafak placed home a rebound off goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari, who could not collect a shot from Abdulaziz Hatem from the left.

Khoukhi levelled the score by heading in a Nam Tae-Hee corner kick from the right.

Akram, who was named as the man of the match, found the mark following an assist from Nam as The Wolves led 2-1 at half-time.

Akram, in amazing form, continued to tear the Al Rayyan defence with his darting runs, mainly along the left flank. His crosses went unanswered on more occasions than one.

Salem Al Hajri, who effectively marked Al Rayyan’s danger man Yacine Brahimi, then beat off the challenge from Mowafak before slotting home a measured cross from the right by Al Haydous past the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Fahad Younis.

Brahimi, currently the top scorer in the 2019-20 QNB Stars League with 10 goals, could not make much of an impact as Al Sadd compensated for their 2-4 loss to Al Rayyan in this season’s Qatar Clasico.

The own goal came when Mercado accidentally deflected in Akram’s angular shot from the right.

Al Rayyan made a couple of key substitutions in the second half, with Sebastian Soria replacing Rodrigo Tabata and Abdulrahman Al Harazi coming in for Mowafak, but they fetched no result.

Al Sadd qualified for the elite tournament featuring the top-four clubs in the league by topping the 2018-19 QNB Stars League table, whereas Al Rayyan made the cut by finishing fourth.