Saturday, May 18, 2013

2013 Emir Cup Final Preview

Al Sadd vs. Al Rayyan
Khalifa International Stadium
Kick-off at 19:00 Local time

It’s that time of the year again; football fans in Qatar will flock to Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday to watch the final of the Emir Cup, the nation’s most prestigious competition.

In a Super Clasico between two of the most popular clubs in Qatar, thirteen-time winners Al Sadd will battle for the golden trophy with Al Rayyan who will be aiming for their sixth title in the competition and their third in the last four seasons.
In Brief
His highness the Emir of Qatar will be attending the match and will present the trophy for the winners.
Fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of entertainment options at special fan zone near the stadium.
Prizes worth three million Qatari riyals will be won by fans though a draw on tickets; they include 20 Toyota vehicles and 16 motorcycles, in addition to a variety of electronics and other prizes from the sponsors.
Abdul Rahman Abdou will be the first Qatari referee to officiate the match in 13 years.
Stadium Gates will open at 15:00
Gates 13-14 for VIP
Gates 12-15 for general fans
Gates 18-20-21 for Qatari Schools
Gates 16-17-18 for Foreign Schools
Gates 6-7-8-9-10-11 for families
Gates 2-3-4-5 for Al Sadd fans
Gates 22-23-24-25 for Al Rayyan fans
Al Sadd
After missing the opportunity on securing a historic quadruple by losing the finals of Sheikh Jassim Cup and Heir Apparent Cup, the Qatar Stars League Champions will do their best to end the season in style, a season that saw them returning to the summit of local scene after five difficult years.
Saad Al Shib is expected to start in goal, ahead of experienced Mohamed Saqr who spent most of the season on bench.
South Korea International Lee Jung-Soo and young star Ibrahim Majid will play in the heart of defense, with the revelation of the season Abdul Karim Hassan playing on the left and the tough Mohamed Kasula on the right.
The experienced Qatar national team duo of Talal Al Bloushi and Wissam Rizq will be at the center of midfield, with three attacking midfielders in front of them, Algerian Nazir Belhadj, will torture Al Rayyan’s defense from the left with his pin-point crosses, while the skill of Khalfan Ibrahim and Spain legend Raul Gonzalez will support the goal machine Younis Mahmoud, the most experienced forward in Qatari football.
43-year-old Moroccan coach Houcine Amouta was one of the main reasons of Al Sadd’s revival in his first season as full coach at the club. He already proved himself as a successful coach with great achievements at his homeland that include winning the 2010 CAF Cup title with FUS Rabat.
Al Sadd honors include winning 13 league titles, 13 Emir Cup titles, 12 Sheikh Jassim Cup titles, five Heir Apparent Cup titles, in addition to two Asian Champions League titles, one Gulf Champions Cup title and Arab Clubs Championship title.       
Al Sadd’s road to this year’s final started in the quarter finals where they defeated Umm Salal 1-0, before beating Lekhwiya 3-2 in the semis
Al Rayyan
Last chance for Al Rayyan, the club with the biggest fan base in Qatar, to give their followers something to cheer about, after another poor league campaign in which they failed to win the title for the 18th consecutive time.
After a great start to the season, winning the Sheikh Jassim Cup by defeating Al Sadd in the final, the Lions finished third in the league and were knocked out by Al Sadd in the semifinals of Heir Apparent Cup.
Al Rayyan Coach Diego Aguirre will be under huge pressure, to end the season with a trophy. The 47-year old Uruguayan won local titles before with the South American giants Penarol in his homeland, and also with Deportivo FAS in El Salvador.
All eyes will be on former Brazil international Nilmar who had a relatively good season finishing second in the league’s top scorers list behind Sebastian Soria with 14 goals.
He will be supported in the attack by his fellow countryman, Rodrigo Tabata, one of the best attacking midfielders in the league, while Qatar internationals Fabio Cesar and Hamed Ismael will play on the right and left sides of midfield respectively. Daniel Gouma and Uruguay international Alvaro Fernandez will play as central midfielders.
Two young promising names will have a chance to prove their worth in the biggest game of their career, the left back Abdul Karim Al Ali and the right back Mohamed Alaa, while the centre-backs Musa Haroon and South Korea’s Cho Yong Hyung will use all their experience in front of the strong attack line of Al Sadd. Omar Barry will start in goal.
Al Rayyan was the team to beat during the nineties in Qatar, they won seven league titles, the last one in the 1994-95 season. Other Honors include winning five Emir Cup titles, four Heir Apparent Cup titles and three Sheikh Jassim Cup titles.
On their road to the final, Al Rayyan came back from behind to defeat Al Khor 4-1 in the quarter finals, before needing a penalty shootout to knock AL Jaish in the semis after the ninety minutes ended in a 1-1 draw.
Al Sadd and Al Rayyan previously met four times in the final of Emir Cup, on all four occasions Al Sadd won the title. Their last meeting in the final was in the 1999/2000 season and Al Sadd won 2-0 thanks to goals from their current coach Houcine Amouta and Adel Jadoua.
They also faced each other four times this season, in the final of Sheikh Jassim cup Al Rayyan won 1-0 with Jarallah Al Marri scoring the winner.
In the league Al Sadd ran out victorious 4-1 at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, before losing with the same score in the opposite fixture at home, then later In the semifinals of Heir Apparent Cup, Al Sadd defeated Al Rayyan 3-1.

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