Al-Sadd reached the final of the 2021 Qatar Cup after defeating Al-Rayyan 1-0 in the semifinal clash which was held on Thursday at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.
Santi Cazorla scored the winning goal for the Wolves, converting a penalty in the 84th minute. The result means that Al-Sadd, the defending champions, progress to the title decider against the winner of the other semifinal between Al-Duhail and Al-Gharafa.
The match got off to a cautious start from both sides, and it took 10 minutes for the first chance to arrive. Akram Afif and Baghdad Bounedjah exchanged passes on the edge of the box to create a dangerous opportunity but the Rayyan defence intervened to clear the ball before Bounedjah could take a shot.
Santi Cazorla then had a chance in the 18th minute but his free-kick went out off the left post. Akram then played in a superb ball from the right in the 37th minute, aimed towards the unmarked Bounedjah, but the Algerian’s shot came off the crossbar – in any case, the linesman had his flag up for offside.
Al-Sadd made their first change at the start of the second half, bringing on Nam Tae-hee in place of Mohammed Waad to freshen up the attack.
In the 52nd minute, Cazorla delivered a cross from the right and Khoukhi Boualem met it first time to send it across the goalmouth but it just missed Guilherme.
Rodrigo Tabata then came on in the 72nd minute, replacing Hassan Al-Haydos. As the second half progressed, Al-Sadd pressed forward in search of the elusive goal and it finally arrived in the 84th minute. The referee pointed to the penalty spot after a handball by Shojae Khalilzadeh. Cazorla stepped up and made no mistake, to score what proved to be the winner.
Al-Sadd x Al-Rayyan (2021 Qatar Cup semifinal)
Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium
Al-Sadd: Meshaal Barsham, Pedro Miguel, Abdelkarim Hassan, Jung Woo-young, Mohammed Waad (Nam Tae-hee), Hassan Al-Haydos (Tabata), Baghdad Bounedjah, Guilherme Torres, Khoukhi Boualem, Santi Cazorla, Akram Afif (Salem Al-Hajri)
Al-Rayyan: Saoud Al-Hajri, Shojae Khalilzadeh, Franck Kom, Khaled Muftah, Abdulaziz Hatem, Ibrahim Masoud (Yacine Ibrahimi), Naif Al Hadhrami (Moufak Awad), Mohammed Juma, Yohan Boli, Ahmed Al Sayed, Gabriel Mercado
Al-Sadd won 1-0
Santi Cazorla 84’ (PEN)
Mohammed Juma 17’
Akram Afif 25’
Khoukhi Boualem 27’
Ahmed Al Sayed 51’
Saoud Al-Athba (main referee)
Saoud Ahmed (assistant 1)
Khaled Ayed (assistant 2)
Sultan Al Sharshani (fourth official)