Al Sadd expect tough final against Al Rayyan
18 May 2017 - 0:12
By Armstrong Vas / The Peninsula
Al Sadd midfielder Ali Asad has warned his team that past records will not count for anything when they take on Al Rayyan in the Emir Cup final tomorrow at the Khalifa International Stadium.
“A final is undoubtedly different. The Emir Cup matches are completely different from other matches. Our wins over Al Rayyan during these past few weeks are not a measure because each match is different,” Asad said, while speaking ahead of the prestigious Emir Cup final which will bring down the curtains on the football season in Qatar.
“Each team has the desire to win the prestigious title and to lift the Emir Cup trophy. Everyone wishes to do that because it is the most prestigious cup and has the name of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,” he added.
Asad predicted a close contest and said both the teams have an uphill task at hand.
“It is possible that some minor mistakes could influence the match, especially as both teams have excellent players who can make a difference. We are ready for the match and we know how difficult it will be. We also know how important it is for the fans.”
On the other hand, Al Sadd and Qatar national team player Fahad Shanin, who is currently on loan at Belgian side Eupen, believes the upcoming clash between the two football giants of Qatar will be an ‘intense’ game, considering the quality of the two sides.
“It’s a big achievement for both teams to reach the final and get the opportunity to meet the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,” Shanin told journalists on the sidelines of Al Sadd’s training session.
Shanin said Al Sadd, which won the Qatar Cup, will not settled for just one title but aim for a season double.
“Of course, Al Sadd won’t be satisfied with one title. Everyone’s eyes are on the prestigious Emir Cup and we know that Al Rayyan will be ready as they also want to win the Emir Cup.”
Turning to his own future at the Belgium club, Shanin said he undecided as to whether to continue the loan period at Eupen or to return to Al Sadd. “This is the first time I am visiting the team in three years. I came to support my friends on the pitch before the important game. I wish Al Sadd good luck in the final in order to fulfil the hopes of the fans and win the title,” he added.
Shanin, however, is happy with his performance with the Belgian side but is still awaiting confirmation as to whether his loan period will be extended by one more year.
“I got the second-best player award last season. My experience has helped me improve my game.”
Meanwhile, Al Sadd winger Jugurtha Hamroun cautioned his team-mates that Al Rayyan who are looking for their first tile of the season will come back strongly in the final.
“Al Sadd will face a tough opponent in the final. Al Rayyan are looking to win their first title of the season,” the Algerian said.