Ooredoo Cup Quarterfinal - Al Wakrah beat Al Kharaitiyat on penalties


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Al Wakrah stormed into the semifinals of 2020-21 season Ooredoo Cup by beating Al Kharaitiyat 4-3 on penalties (1-1 after regular time) in the first quarterfinal at the Al Arabi Stadium on Sunday.

Mohamed Benyettou put Al Wakrah ahead in the ninth minute, but Daniel Goumou equalised for Al Kharaitiyat in the 71st minute. With a 1-1 scoreline, the match was straightaway pushed to the tie-breaker, as stipulated by the tournament rule in the event of a tie, without extra time.

Al Kharaitiyat’s Oumar Sako and Abdulmajid Anad missed their spot kicks. Al Wakrah won after all of their four players converted the penalties.

Lucas Mendes, Mohamed Benyettou, Salih Mohamed Al Yahr and Murad Naji scored from the penalty spot for Al Wakrah, while only Rachid Tiberkanine, Evans Mensah and Moustapha Alhaje could score from the spot for Al Kharaitiyat.

Tiberkanine outpaced his markers Ali Karami and Ousmane Coulibaly in the fourth minute, but his low left-footed drive from inside the box was blocked by Al Wakrah keeper Saoud Al Khater.

Five minutes later, Al Wakrah surprised the Al Kharaitiyat backline with a stunning goal. Benyettou picked up a short pass from a team-mate outside the Al Kharaitiyat box and moved a couple of steps. Finding a narrow angle to work on, Benyettou quickly launched a fierce drive that smashed into the goalpost to the left of keeper Shehab Mamdouh. The ball hit the post and crashed into the net as Al Wakrah celebrated the early goal in absolute jubilation.

Close to the half-hour mark, Mensah, under pressure from four Al Wakrah players, swivelled on the edge of the box and fired a slick drive that flew agonisingly over the bar.

In the 69th minute, Al Wakrah’s Cristian Ceballos broke free of his marker and charged into the Al Kharaitiyat box, but his shot from close range was expertly blocked by keeper Mamdouh. 

Soon came the equaliser through Goumou’s spectacular header. Khaldoun Ismail Mousa charged into the Al Wakrah box and slipped in a short cross for Abdulmajid Anad to set up an unmarked Goumou, who jumped high into the air, a few feet away from the keeper, and nodded the ball home.

Al Wakrah reached the knockout quarterfinal by topping Group A with 11 points (three victories and two defeats). En route to the last eight, The Blue Wave, the only side with an unbeaten record in the group, beat Al Khor 2-1, Al Duhail 3-1 and Al Sadd 5-0, while they drew 1-1 with Qatar SC and 2-2 with Al Sailiya.