Ooredoo Cup Semifinal – Al Gharafa vs Al Rayyan
Sunday, 21st March, 2021
17:00 kick-off at Al Sadd Stadium
Al Gharafa face Al Rayyan in the second semifinal of 2020-21 season Ooredoo Cup at the Al Sadd Stadium on Sunday. The kick-off is at 17:00.
Both Al Gharafa and Al Rayyan are traditionally-strong teams with many accomplishments and huge fan base. Therefore, the match-up is sure to evoke keen interest.
Al Gharafa, coached by Slavisa Jokanovic, go into the game with many points to prove. They lost 0-2 to Al Wakrah in Week 21 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League on Tuesday, 16th March.
It was a blow to the top-four finish hopes of Al Gharafa, who had lost 1-3 to Al Ahli in Week 19.
The match was originally scheduled for 6th April along with other Week 21 games, but was rescheduled in view of Al Gharafa’s play-off with Uzbekistan’s FC AGMK in Doha on 7th April, 2021, for a berth in the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage.
Three Qatari clubs (Al Duhail, Al Rayyan and Al Sadd who finished in that order in the 2019-20 season QNB Stars League final standings), will play in the West Asia group stage of tournament proper, while fourth-placed Al Gharafa had to go into play-off for a place in the main draw. The winner will join Group A featuring Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, Shabab Al Ahli of the UAE and FC Istiklol of Tajikistan.
Al Rayyan, under eminent French coach Laurent Blanc, are placed third in the QNB Stars League table with 34 points.
The Lions had defeated Al Arabi by a 2-0 margin in Week 19 and would look to sustain the momentum in the Ooredoo Cup semifinal.
Al Gharafa had recently lost 0-5 to Al Sadd, while Al Rayyan bt Al Kharaitiyat 2-0 in the 2020-21 Amir Cup quarterfinals.
In the 2020-21 Ooredoo Cup’s knockout quarterfinals played on 16th November, 2020, Al Gharafa defeated Al Sadd 4-2 and Al Rayyan edged Al Khor 1-0.
Al Gharafa and Al Rayyan reached the quarterfinals being the first and third team from Group B with 13 and seven points respectively.
Both sides will be without players on national duty, so it will be a good opportunity for reserves and youngsters to prove their mettle.