WAFF: Qatar reach semi-finals

January 01, 2014 - 4:35:02 am

Doha: Hosts Qatar trounced Saudi Arabia 4-1 in a Group A match to secure a place in the semi-finals of the 8th West Asia Football Federation (WAFF) at the Al Sadd Stadium here yesterday.

Two goals by Adil Ahmed within a span of four minutes in the second half clinched the issue for coach Djamal Belmadi boys.

The teams were levelled one-all at the end of half time play.

Boualem Khouki gave hosts the lead in the 16th minute.

Saudi Arabia bounced back to equalise in the 30th minute through Mohammed Majrashi.

Ten minutes into the second half, Khouki again broke through the defensive shackles to net his second goal of the match.

Thereafter, Ahmed took over and fired two goals to put the issue beyond doubt. 

Qatar thus finished their league  engagements with six points, winning both their matches.

In the first match of the championship, Qatar struggled their way to a 1-0 win over Palestine.

Qatar coach Belmadi was delighted by the big win.

“It was quite heartening to see the team win with a big margin after the slender win against Palestine in the opening game,” said Belmadi.

“We were in a positive mind from the word go as we were playing for the win to secure a place in the semi-finals,” the Algerian said.

“We played aggressively and capitalized on the chances we created against the fragile defence of the Saudi side. You need to convert the positive chances to win important games,” said Belmadi, who was earlier coach of Qatar Stars League (QSL) team Lekhwiya.

Belmadi who guided Lekhwiya to two back-to-back QSL titles said the approach is to take it match-by-match.

“We are playing to win the title, but we are taking it match-by-match. We are high on confidence after the big win over Saudi Arabia and we are now concentrating on the semi-final.”

The Peninsula

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