Yesterday, the match between Al Ahli and Qatar SC at the Grand Hamad Stadium proved to be a thriller with Al Ahli scoring a late goal to register a fighting win over Qatar SC.
Al Ahli’s match-winning goal came in the 88th minute with John Beitsoun scoring the all important goal.
Both the teams played an open game and set up a fast pace right from the start and they were able to sustain the pace for sometime.
However, midway through the first half, both teams slowed the pace.
Al Ahli were dominant in the rival penalty area and after sustained attacks they were able to pick up holes in the rival defense.
Al Ahli’s first goal was a combined effort of three individuals. Nabil El Zhar’s cross found Beeitsoun, who essayed a bicycle-kick which Diame headed home catching the rival defense on the wrong foot.
The teams went into the half time break with Al Ahli leading 1-0.
In the second half, Qatar SC came back strongly with renewed ideas and were able to find the equaliser off a dead ball situation.
Rashidov finished off a move started by Abdulaziz Adel Ibrahim by sending his elegant left footed drive past the Al Ahli keeper.
Al Ahli finally struck late in the match to shatter Qatar SC’s aspirations.
Al Ahli striker Beitsoun caught the Qatar SC defense napping with a smart move. As the Corner kick was taken he gave his marker a slip by backing a few steps to position himself at the far post and with no marker to challenge him he coolly headed home past the rival keeper Jassim Adel AlHail much to the delight of the Al Ahli supporters.
In the remaining few minutes of play, Qatar SC threw everything in the attack but the Al Ahli defense stood their ground to repulse the late onslaught.
Earlier yesterday at the Grand Hamad Stadium, the home ground of Al Arabi SC, the match between Al Wakrah and Al Shahania ended in a goalless draw at the end of regulation time.
Both the teams had an equal share of exchanges but could not trouble the scorers through the 90 minutes of regular play.
With the teams locked goalless at the end of regular period and accordingly the tie breaker system was applied to break the deadlock.
The first five penalty kicks of the shoot out could not end the impasse and the sudden death had to be applied to pick the winner.
Finally, Al Wakrah emerged on top thanks to the brilliance of Al Wakrah goalkeeper Saoud Al Khater.
Al Khater thus deservedly got the Man-of-the Match-award for his brilliant show under the bar.
On Wednesday, a brace from Yohan Boli and goals from Khaled Muftah and Rodrigo Tabata helped Al Rayyan coast to an emphatic 4-0 win over second division side Mesaimeer and advance to the quarter-finals.
Also making their way into the last eight stage were Al Sailiya who defeated Umm Salal 2-1.
On Thursday, defending champions Al Duhail and Al Sadd marched into the quarter-finals.
Al Duhail gave new coach Walid Regragui his first victory in Qatar with a 4-0 thumping over second division side Muaither SC, while Al Sadd thrashed Al Kharaitiyat 3-1 to advance to the elite tournament without much resistance.
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