Al Rayyan and Al Sadd eye place in Qatar Cup final
20 Apr 2017 - 8:32
Armstrong Vas | The Peninsula
Al Rayyan, having lost to Al Sadd twice in the Qatar Stars League this season will be going all out for a win in today’s Qatar Cup semi-final against The Wolves.
Coach Michael Laudrup said his side is clearly focused on reaching the final in a bid to pick up their first silverware of the season.
“Al Sadd is the toughest opponent in Qatar for Al Rayyan, we lost twice to them in the league (Qatar Stars League) and we will be looking to get one over Al Sadd.”
Laudrup reaffirmed that his squad are eager to defeat their local rivals. “I don’t like the word revenge in football. But I know that my squad wants to win after losing twice in the league to Al Sadd. This is cup football and we have a chance to lift silverware this season.”
Al Sadd won the first leg 5-0 and again finished on the winning side by wrapping the match 4-1 in the return tie.
“If we win two games we can be champion, but this is a busy month for Al Rayyan with matches in the Qatar Cup, Emir Cup and AFC Champions League. We have an important game in the champions league in Abu Dhabi and I know that my side will give it’s all in this match” added the Danish tactician.
Besides the two local competitions – the Emir Cup and Qatar Cup, the QSL side is aiming to reach the last sixteen stage of the continental event.
“We play Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi in four days’ time. Very, very important game, but, we have good strong team in both events, both very good teams then we see thereafter. What happens in Qatar Cup, if we win we play in the Qatar Cup final, otherwise we have more time to prepare for the AFC matches,” said the 54-year old former Swansea City manager.
Laudrup is happy way things are shaping up in the AFC Cahmpions league where they are on the threshold of reaching the last sixteen stage.
“In the AFC campaign we are doing a fantastic job. We are in the group with the two best teams in the Gulf, Hilal number one in Saudi and Persepolis, number one in Iran. We are still there and we have lot of possibilities to go in to the last sixteen for the first time in the history of Al Rayyan , so I think we are doing a fantastic job in the AFC Champions League.”
Al Rayyan defender Musab Kheder said his team-mates are fully focused for the match.
“It’s an important match, and we have no choice but to win against Al Sadd. In the last game, we had a player sent off against Al Sadd, and we were punished, so we must be concentrate hard.”
Al Sadd having registered two victories over their rivals in the league will be banking on past records in the knockout match.
Coach Jesaldo Ferreira stressed that the tie will be a real challenge for his side.
“The semi-final is a final when you play Al Rayyan. We are facing last season’s champion; it will be difficult to predict the result. We are aiming for the win, and the aim is to reach the final.”
“All clubs have a cycle it has been a while that Al Sadd have lifted a trophy. We want to win the Qatar Cup and then the Emir Cup that is the mentality of the squad that I have here” added Ferreira, when asked about Al Sadd’s desire to win a major trophy.
Former Al Rayyan defender Hamid Ismail is targeting a repeat league performance for Sadd against their rivals. “Matches between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd are always exceptional, they are different from the other matches. We will try and keep the same level performance that we have had against Al Rayyan in the league.”