Al Sadd take on Umm Salal as QSL Cup action resumes today

 07 Nov 2017 - 3:22

Al Sadd take on Umm Salal as QSL Cup action resumes today
Al Markhiya and Al Arabi players vie for the ball possession during their Group B QSL Cup match played at Al Shamal Stadium in this October 10 file picture.

The Peninsula

Football giants Al Sadd today will be looking to post their first win in the QSL Cup when they take on Umm Salal in the Group B match.
Beaten by Al Markhiya and Al Rayyan in the first two rounds last month, Al Sadd come into the match having beaten Al Ahli 2-1 in a QNB Stars League match last week.
Coached by Jesualdo Ferreira, Al Sadd fielded young players in their last two games of the QSL Cup, an event in which most sides look to blood fringe players.
Al Sadd were given two days off by Ferreira following their clash on Thursday and the side resumed training on Sunday with more sessions executed yesterday.
Al Sadd’s regular goalkeeper Saad Al Dosari was a pleased man after Al Ahli’s 2-1 win last Thursday.
“This is a good and important win, especially after the defeat to Al Rayyan in the last round. The team suffered from the absence of some players due to injuries but the young players had a big role to play in this win,” Al Dosari said.
“The win is a motivation to improve and perform better in the coming matches. The league break is going to be an opportunity for the injured players to return to action,” he added.
Al Sadd will once again be without their top players Baghdad Bounedjah and Morteza Pouraliganji who have received call-ups to represent their national teams in the upcoming matches this week.
Bounedjah will join the Algerian national team for the World Cup qualifier against Nigeria while Pouraliganji has joined the Iranian national team for the friendlies against Venezuela and Peru.
Barca legend Xavi, Pedro Miguel and Jugurtha Hamroun will also be away from action as they continue with their recuperation under the supervision of the first team medical staff, a post on the club website said yesterday.
Xavi is suffering from a back muscle injury while Pedro sustained a shoulder injury in the game against Al Rayyan around 10 days ago. Hamroun, the club said, is undergoing treatment for inflammation.
Other players set to miss action include Al Dosari, Khoukhi Boualem, Musab Kheder and Hassan Al Haydos who are with the Qatar national or Olympic sides for the next week or so.
The tournament resumes after almost a month-long gap.
The third and fourth rounds will be played during the two-week break for the QNB Stars League due to international commitments.
The third round will be played today, tomorrow and on Wednesday, with three matches on both days.
Today’s third-round clash will be played at Al Khor Stadium. Today’s other Group B games are Al Rayyan vs Al Markhiya (Al Gharafa Stadium, 16:05) and Al Arabi vs Al Ahli (Al Wakrah Stadium, 18:15).
Al Rayyan are on top in Group B with six points. They have won the first two round matches, against Al Ahli and Al Sadd. Al Markhiya are second in the group on four points, followed by Al Arabi (two), Umm Salal (two), Al Ahli (one) and Al Sadd (zero).
Tomorrow’s Group A fixtures are Al Sailiya vs Al Khor (Al Gharafa Stadium, 16:05), Al Kharaitiyat vs Al Duhail (Al Shamal Stadium, 18:15) and Al Gharafa vs Qatar SC (Al Wakrah Stadium, 18:15).
Al Kharaitiyat are leading the standings in Group A with an all-win record and six points, the same as Al Gharafa but ahead on goal difference. Qatar SC are third on four points and Al Sailiya have one, while Al Duhail and Al Khor are yet to open their account. Al Kharaitiyat had defeated Al Sailiya and Al Khor.
The tournament seems to be fully serving its purpose as the first two rounds of action saw most teams give chances to youngsters and some of them grab the opportunities with both hands. The trend is likely to continue.
Meanwhile, the venue of two matches (Al Arabi vs Al Ahli and Al Sailiya vs Al Khor) has been changed from Al Duhail to Al Wakrah and Al Gharafa Stadium respectively. The changes were made because Al Duhail will host Qatar’s forthcoming friendlies against the Czech Republic (November 11) and Iceland (November 14).