Focus on Al Sadd in 2020 Qatar Cup


Al Sadd face Al Rayyan in the second semifinal of 2020 Qatar Cup on Saturday, 11th January, 2020. The kick-off is at 19:30 at the Al Sadd Stadium.

Al Sadd go into the match on a confident note, having defeated Al Arabi 6-1 in a QNB Stars League match, deferred from Week 5 because of their 2019 AFC Champions League engagements.

The Wolves still have one match to play, against Al Khor from Week 7. It will be played on 21st January.

For now, their full focus is on the Qatar Cup, to be held from 10th to 17th January.

Al Sadd are competing in the sixth edition of Qatar Cup by virtue of having won the 2018-19 season QNB Stars League with 57 points.

The team’s technical staff continued under Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira. They roped in Spanish defensive midfielder Gabriel Fernandez (Gabi) and South Korean midfielder Jung Woo-Young in the summer, while Spanish star Xavi Hernandez and ace Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah stayed.

They retained most of the players and were all set before the start of season, and did not have to make any changes to the squad in the January transfer window.

Al Sadd earned plenty of impressive results as they set many records. They registered the biggest margin of victory when they beat Al Arabi 10-1 in Week 2.

Al Sadd also had the most number of wins (18) and scored the most number of goals (100). They had the least number of defeats (just the loss to Al Ahli in the first leg) and conceded the least number of goals (22), after runners-up Al Duhail (17).

In the process, they became the first team in the history of Qatar league to complete a century of goals scored from 22 matches, with an average of 4.5 goals per game. The offensive power of tournament top scorer Bounedjah (39 goals) and Qatar international Akram Afif (26 goals) contributed mostly to it.

Qatar national team goalkeeper Sadd Al Dossari, Abdelkarim Hassan, who was adjudged Asia’s best player of 2018, Pedro Miguel, Boualem Khoukhi, Tareq Salman, Salem Al Hajri and Hamed Ismail too shone among the Al Sadd ranks.

Bounedjah topped the chart with a record 39 goals from 22 matches with an average of 1.7 goals per game, as he played a vital role in Al Sadd’s triumph in the QNB Stars League.

The wily player became the Qatar league’s all-time top scorer in a single season. He surpassed Brazilian striker Clemerson Soares’ record of 27 goals set in the 2007-08 season for Al Gharafa.

Naturally, Al Sadd stole the show at the Qatar Football Association Awards Ceremony by bagging three awards. Akram, Bounedjah and Ferreira bagged the awards for the best player, top scorer (Mansour Muftah Award) and best coach respectively.

All that underlined an exceptional season for Al Sadd.