QSL Cup — Round 4 Highlights
Al Gharafa and Al Rayyan became the first teams to reach the semifinals from Group A and B respectively after the conclusion of QSL Cup’s Round 4 action, played over Sunday and Monday.
In Group A, Al Gharafa drew 1-1 with Al Kharaitiyat, Al Duhail defeated Al Sailiya 2-1 and Qatar SC played out a goalless draw with Al Khor.
Al Gharafa went through with 10 points. Al Kharaitiyat, who are on eight, and Qatar SC (five) have a chance to progress ahead of Round 5. However, Al Duhail, Al Khor and Al Sailiya all bowed out in the group stage.
Al Kharaitiyat surged ahead in the 11th minute through Abdulla Al Anzi, but Luis Jimenez equalised for Al Gharafa, who did not drop points in other fixtures, in the 29th at the Al Ahli Stadium. The point was enough for The Cheetahs to take an unassailable lead.
Al Duhail may be leading the QNB Stars League standings, but their performance in this tournament left a lot to be desired. Even though Al Duhail beat Al Sailiya at the Al Wakrah Stadium, they both exited with four and one points respectively.
Qatar SC, the rock-bottom side in the league, put up a far better show in the QSL Cup. The one point they took from the Al Khor game played at the Al Shamal Stadium gave them an outside chance to reach the semifinals. Their match against Al Kharaitiyat in Round 5 will determine the second team to go through.
In Group B, Al Rayyan prevailed over Umm Salal 1-0 at the Al Arabi Stadium, with in-form striker Abderrazaq Hamdallah netting the winning goal in the 80th. The Moroccan had scored a hat-trick in their big win over Al Markhiya in the previous round.
Al Rayyan thus reached the last-four stage with an all-win record.
The venue of this match was moved from Al Duhail to Al Arabi Stadium as the former hosted the international friendlies featuring Qatar, the Czech Republic and Iceland.
In other action, Al Arabi overcame Al Sadd 5-4 in a thriller at the Al Ahli Stadium, while Al Markhiya held Al Ahli to a goalless draw at the Al Wakrah Stadium.
Algerian attacking midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun contributed a brace for Al Sadd in a losing cause as they exited without a single point.
The race to become the second team qualifying from the group has become hotter as Al Arabi, Al Ahli, Umm Salal and Al Markhiya all have five points.
The Round 5 action has been tentatively scheduled for 11th and 12th December.