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Al Duhail, Al Sadd set for Qatar Cup final today

Al Duhail, Al Sadd set for Qatar Cup final today

Ayeni Olusegun
Doha
Al Duhail coach Rui Faria has called the Qatar Cup final against Al Sadd a great opportunity to win another title as both teams prepare for another final showdown at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Friday.
Faria, who became coach of Al Duhail just over a year ago, won his first solo trophy as coach in May last year – beating Al Sadd 4-1 in the Amir Cup final.
“The final is another opportunity to win a title. We need to play collectively to win this match and we know how important the Qatar Cup is,” Faria said on Thursday.
“It is unpredictable playing in a final but of course we want to win and get the best from everyone. We want a perfect day and what better time to play perfect than in a final?”
The Red Knights are unbeaten so far in the QSL and enjoyed an eight-game winning run until a shock draw against Qatar SC. No longer the fluid goal-scoring threat under former Djamel Belmadi, Al Duhail however more compact and have a better appetite of grinding out tough wins.
For Faria though, it is all about showing the right mentality – having led his team despite a red card to the Amir Cup title against Al Sadd, the Portuguese remains pragmatic.
“I hope we show our mentality. I trust my players and I hope they trust me too. We want to give a very good image of ourselves. We know the quality of our opponent and we need to prepare well for them.
“In the Amir Cup final last season, we played well despite going a man down for half an hour. But what the players did on the field and focus helped the team a lot.
“I do not expect a similar game. We have prepared well and we know that we are facing a strong team, so our target is collective display, which should help us win,” he added.
Al Duhail also added some attacking talent to the squad recently with Mario Mandzukic and North Korea’s Han Kwang-song both from Juventus. They however, need time to understand the team according to Faria.
“All new players need time to gel, but we have made some good signings and we hope they perform well for the club, hopefully they bring more quality to the side. Having more players brings healthy competition which is good for the players.”
Al Sadd on the other hand are arguably in the best form of their season after bagging in 10 goals in the last two matches. After a slow start to the league season and a disappointing loss in the AFC Champions League semi-final, The Wolves eased tension with a convincing 4-1 win over arch rivals Al Rayyan in the Qatar Cup semis last week.
“We have been training well and are ready to compete. I trust my players completely and we want to maintain the same level we have shown in the last two matches. We have a team of winners but hopefully we play to enjoy the game tomorrow. We had probably our best performance of the season against Al Rayyan but now we concentrate on Al Duhail,” Xavi Hernandez said.
“Our opponents are one of the best teams in the region and Asia but we are ready. We have played four games with Al Duhail this season and we have the better record (two wins, a raw and a loss each). We respect Al Duhail, they have won a lot of trophies in the last 10 years but we are not afraid.”

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