Al Sadd Clinch Amir Cup For 19Th Time After Uribe's Extra-Time Strike

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Mateus Uribe's dramatic 118th-minute goal secured Al Sadd a record-extending 19th Amir Cup victory as the Wolves beat a spirited Qatar SC 1-0 in an entertaining final at the Education City Stadium Friday.
Sadd, who last month regained the Qatar Stars League title, completed a season double with Amir Cup triumph, which is also their 79th overall title. Sadd played 15 minutes of extra time without their star striker Akram Afif, who was shown a red card after a reckless challenge on Bruno Tabata.
But the ten-man Sadd still conjured a magic after Colombian midfielder Uribe's strike reinforced their dominance in Qatar football.“The Amir Cup title was a priority for me and it's like a dream come true,” said Al Sadd's all-time top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah, who played his last game for the club yesterday.
“It was a collective effort and I want to thank my teammates for their hard work in achieving this victory,” the Algerian added.
Sadd's coach Wesam Rizk was emotional after the victory.“From the beginning my main target was winning the prestigious Amir Cup, and I am so delighted to lift the trophy and complete a double,” he said.“The players put in their best effort to win the final. Overall, it was a collective effort from the entire Al Sadd team including technical officials.”
After a tightly-contested first half failed to produce goals, Al Sadd hit the woodwork thrice in the second half but Qatar SC hung on to take the game to extra time. Qatar SC, who had survived the extra time both in their quarter and semi-finals, failed to take advantage of Afif's dismissal in the 107th minute.
Nine minutes later, Uribe fired the ball into the net after substitute Pedro Miguel's shot had ricocheted off a defender.
From the onset, Al Sadd showcased their dominance, applying relentless pressure on Qatar SC's defence. Early attempts included a powerful shot by Uribe that was deflected by goalkeeper Sataa al-Abbasi, followed by a header from Afif that narrowly missed the target in the 13th minute. Al Sadd's attacking prowess continued as Afif's 26th-minute strike also went wide.
Qatar SC attempted to counter Al Sadd's offensive, notably through Abdullah al-Ahraq's cross to Yohan Boli, whose powerful shot was skillfully saved by Al Sadd's goalkeeper Mishal Barsham, just before halftime.
The second half saw Al Sadd maintain their offensive momentum. Afif hit the post in the 65th minute, and Bounedjah's rebound struck the crossbar. Qatar SC responded with a counter-attack, where Boli's header was again denied by Barsham. Al Sadd's Gonzalo Plata also had a notable attempt saved in the 72nd minute.
Despite numerous opportunities, regular time ended goalless, leading to extra time. The match took a dramatic turn when Afif received a red card for a challenge on Tabata in the 107th minute, following a review by the video assistant referee.
But Sadd's quality was on display in the 118th minute when Pedro Miguel's launched a swift attack, culminating in Uribe's decisive goal.


Gulf Times

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