Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez expressed his happiness after his side’s 1-0 victory Al-Rayyan in the semi-final of the 2021 Qatar Cup.
Speaking during the press conference after the match, Xavi said: “It was a very difficult match against Al Rayyan who were strong, both physically and defensively. Al Rayyan has many excellent players, and we did not play as well as we usually do but we achieved our goal, which is to be in the final.”
The coach added: “I am proud and happy to be in the Qatar Cup final again. We will face Al Arabi in the next match in the league, and then we will start our preparations for the final.”
He also said: “Today we suffered a lot, we played against Al Rayyan, strong opponents who defended strongly, and we did not create enough opportunities. The Al Rayyan players were happy to draw and go to penalty kicks and this is the case in football where there are many matches like this, but the most important thing is to achieve victory in such conditions and this is what we have achieved.”
Xavi pointed out that the Al-Sadd team played 13 consecutive games without a defeat, saying: I am very happy with what the team has offered so far, we have played 13 consecutive games in all competitions without any loss, and this is a good number for us and it gives us motivation to offer our best in the next matches.”
As for not playing Nam Tae-hee from the beginning, the coach said: “I chose Akram and Hassan Al Haydos from the beginning because they were more ready than Nam, and they provided the defensive role in the middle. Yes, we did not play well, but we achieved our goal in the match.”
Regarding the angry reactions of some Al Sadd players during the match, especially Akram Afif, Xavi said: “I do not criticize the referee of the match, but when the player does not see the referee of the match protecting him, he becomes angry and this is what happened with Akram Afif during the match. Akram played a good game and helped the team a lot and did his duty perfectly.”