Al Sailiya crowned 2020-21 Ooredoo Cup champions


Al Sailiya beat Al Rayyan 2-0 in the final to win the 2020-21 season Ooredoo Cup at the Al Sadd Stadium on Friday.

The champions were awarded the gold medals and cup, strictly adhering to the precautionary measures which are in force to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Serigne Mbodji (45+2) put Al Sailiya ahead and substitute Mohanad Ali (90th minute) completed an impressive victory for The Peregrines.

Al Sailiya reached the final after winning an appeal over an ineligible player against Al Wakrah, to whom they lost 0-3 in the first semifinal. The result was reversed by the Disciplinary Committee of Qatar Football Association.

As expected, it was a fast start to the final, with Al Rayyan making first surge into the opposition area after Ali Ferydoon won a free-kick near the box, but the danger was averted by Al Sailiya in the fourth minute.

Al Sailiya, who started the final brightly, launched their first attack in the 10th minute when Tiago Bezerra curled a cross to Rami Fayez, but he headed the ball wide from a difficult position. Five minutes later, Bezerra was involved in another attack, but Fahad Younis’ goal did not come under much threat.

Sami Trabelsi-coached Al Sailiya started to play attacking football to put pressure on Al Rayyan. The Lions, however, did not let Al Sailiya take full control of the game by keeping the ball possession and looking to creating their own opportunities.

Just before the half-hour mark, Franck Kom gave Al Sailiya first scare with a rocket from the edge of the box, but keeper Claude Amine did well to thwart the danger.

Just before half-time, Al Sailiya won a free-kick 25 yards outside the box. Nadir Belhadj, taking the kick, spotted Senegalese Mbodji, who evaded his marker inside the box to set himself up for a spectacular header from a difficult angle. Al Rayyan keeper Fahad had no chance to reach the ball, which landed in his opposite corner despite making a flying attempt.

Tiago could have doubled the lead for Al Sailiya, four minutes after the start of second half, but he took a shot in haste, wasting a good opportunity. Al Rayyan, needing a fightback, were struggling to take control of the proceedings against a charged-up Al Sailiya.

However, Al Rayyan, after the hour mark, made some good attacks. Their best chance came when Abdulrahman Al Harazi lofted the ball towards Ali Ferydoon, who headed on target from close range, but Amine made a superb save to keep Al Sailiya’s lead intact.

In the 72nd minute, Al Rayyan coach Laurent Blanc called in Al Korbi while replacing Ahmed Abdelmaqsoud. With 15 minutes left in the game, Al Rayyan captain Yacine Brahimi made his first attempt, but his hit was well-blocked by Amine.

The last few minutes saw Al Rayyan make desperate attempts for an equaliser, but Al Sailiya put up solid defending to maintain their lead.

Just when the match was about to enter stoppage time, Mohanad Ali, in a counter-attack, sneaked towards the Al Rayyan goal without much resistance and put the ball past the goalkeeper with a clinical hit from the edge of the box to seal victory for Al Sailiya, who celebrated their triumph in style.