Booting off with 12 Qatari teams competing, the tournament will now witness four groups fighting for the Ooredoo Cup title.
Kings of the standings, Al Duhail, will face star-studded Al Sadd in the 2022-2023 season Ooredoo Cup semifinal at the Qatar SC Stadium on Thursday, with both teams expecting a stimulating match against one another.
Climbing Group B with 13 points, the Red Knights of Qatar are the only unbeaten side against Al Gharafa, Al Rayyan, Al Shamal and Al Markhiya.
Coming into the match as favourites, coach Hernan Crespo is mindful of the offensive defiance Juan Manuel Lillo’s Al Sadd presents for his squad.
“Our matches with Al Sadd are always exciting and strong. Like our last match against them, where we managed to come back at the last minute. Such matches require that all players be at the top of their focus throughout the match,” Crespo said in a press conference.
“This is a tournament in which all clubs participate, and our presence in the semifinal means that we have worked hard and succeeded in achieving the victories that have brought us here. And, as I have always say, Al Duhail enter every tournament with the aim of winning the title,” the recipient of Best Coach for January added.
Al Sadd will reach the semifinals as Group A runners-up with nine points as they have won three matches but faced two losses.
Casted by Akram Afif, Hassan Al-Haydos and Boualem Khoukhi, Al Sadd has slipped their ranks this season behind Al Arabi and Al Duhail.
However, the team is still confident ahead of tonight’s game.
“Our goal is to win the Ooredoo Cup, and we are very excited about the opportunity to reach the final due to the great efforts made by the young players before the World Cup. Reaching the final will be a great achievement for us, especially for this group of young players,” expressed coach Manuel Lillo.
“Every match has its own challenge, and this tournament is completely different, and now we will play without some of our international players. We face a great competitor and we played against them in the league a few days ago. We know how difficult the match is,” the coach added.
Al Arabi and Umm Salal will also kickoff for the semifinal this Thursday at
at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Both the semifinals will initiate simultaneously at 9:45pm.