Will Al Gharafa stop Al Duhail in their tracks?
The stage is all set for the QSL Cup final between reigning champions Al Gharafa and Al Duhail. The kick-off is at the Abdullah bin Khalifa (Al Duhail) Stadium at 7pm on Thursday, 31st January.
Al Duhail qualified for the final by defeating Qatar SC 4-0 in the first semifinal, while Al Gharafa booked their berth despite losing the second semifinal 1-4 to Al Kharaitiyat.
The Qatar Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee discussed the protest by Al Gharafa against Al Kharaitiyat for violating the rule of number of resident players who were on the startlist. Al Kharaitiyat had fielded six resident players in the game.
The committee considered Al Kharaitiyat as losers of the match (0-3).
Al Gharafa will be keen to retain the title they won last season by beating Al Rayyan in the final.
On the other hand, Al Duhail will be eager to lift the cup, having missed out on the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup after losing to Al Rayyan.
Interestingly, all four semifinalists were from Group A.
Al Gharafa qualified for the knockout stage by finishing as runners-up in Group A with nine points, whereas Al Duhail came third with eight points.
Al Gharafa registered two victories and three draws to remain unbeaten, compared to Al Duhail’s two wins, as many draws and one defeat.
The face-off between Al Gharafa and Al Duhail in Round 2 had ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the quarterfinals, Al Gharafa put it across Al Ahli 1-0, while Al Duhail defeated Al Khor 5-1.
Both Al Gharafa and Al Duhail have star players in their ranks and it has to be seen whether Al Gharafa will be able to stop Al Duhail in their tracks.
If the teams are tied after regular time, they will play an extra 30 minutes divided into two halves. If the deadlock remains after extra time too, then penalty shoot-out will be introduced.